People moving out of London purchased 73,000 homes outside the capital in 2019, according to Hamptons International.
This was a 4% decline from the peak of 75,690 Londoners leaving in 2016, though the average age of a ‘London leaver’ also fell to a record-low of 39.
Hamptons said that the lower age of movers was due to “affordability barriers” in the capital, and that for many, leaving London is the “only way” of getting onto the housing ladder.
The average leaver spent £358,650 on their home outside of London, which equates to a £26.2bn across all of 2019. This was a decrease from the £29.6bn spent in 2018.
Some 24% of those moving outside of the capital were first-time buyers, and 69% of purchases were made in the south of England. The south east was the most popular destination, with 32% of London leavers moving to the region last year.
Nonetheless, a record 13% of leavers moved from London to the north of England, while the proportion of Londoners heading to the north east, north west or Yorkshire and Humber has been “rising at a significant rate over the last decade”.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “The number of Londoners purchasing a home outside the capital has fallen by 4% since the most recent peak of 2016. 2016 was the prime time for Londoners to cash in on their property and move to the country.
“This was when the price gap between a home in London and one elsewhere in Great Britain was at its widest. However since then, house prices outside of London have risen faster than those in the capital and this has resulted in more London homeowners staying put.”
She added: “Historically most homeowners leaving London did so for lifestage reasons and to take advantage of being able to buy a larger home, but for others, leaving London is the only way of getting onto the housing ladder.
“As a result, the average age of someone leaving the capital to purchase a home has fallen to the lowest level on record – just 39 years old. For many first-time buyers it also means moving further afield to areas such as the Midlands and North where they can get more for their money.”