Explosion in ‘London leavers’ buying up properties in the countryside with St Albans top destination for first-time buyers
More properties outside the city were purchased by London-based home buyers this year than in any year since 2007.
First-time buyers made up nearly a quarter (24 of Londoners buying outside the capital in 2021, according to the calculations from Hamptons.
The estate agent estimates that, in total, buyers based in London purchased more than 112,700 homes outside the city this year – the highest number since 2007.
On average, London sellers spent £18,980 less on their home outside the capital than the price of the property they sold, Hamptons said.
The average “London leaver” who moved this year sold their home for £525,910 and spent £506,930 on their new property.
Hamptons identified St Albans in Hertfordshire as the top destination for first-time buyers moving out of London in 2021.
For existing home-owners who were moving out of London, Dartford in Kent was named as top hotspot.
The Arun area of West Sussex, which includes Arundel and Bognor Regis, was the top destination for London-based buyers purchasing a second home, the estate agent found.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “The capital’s loss is the Home Counties’ gain, with these buyers prepared to move 24% further than before the pandemic began, taking their wealth and experience with them.
“There are still many uncertainties about what long-term impact the pandemic will have on the way we live our lives and how we work.
“It seems likely that hybrid remote working is set to continue in some form, which will keep outmigration numbers above pre-pandemic norms.
“However, after this year’s frenzy, we expect the numbers to fall back a little, particularly as house prices outside the capital are set to continue outperforming London over the next few years.
“We expect to see the number of London purchases outside the capital average around 85,000 in both 2022 and 2023, around 10,000 more than during the five years leading up to the pandemic.”