Londoners spent £30 billion buying homes outside of the capital this year, the highest figure in more than a decade.
Leading estate agent Hamptons International said Londoners bought 74,350 homes outside the capital in 2018 – a 3.8% rise on 2017.
The fact that more Londoners are prepared to relocate in pursuit of (relatively) affordable property is hardly surprising.
It's recently been reported that the average first-time buyer will spend four years living a leaner lifestyle in order to save for a deposit. But at the same time, it's been estimated that a single person could spend 68 years (!) saving for a deposit in one especially fancy London borough.
More than three quarters of Londoners leaving the capital relocated to places in the South East, South West or East of England, Hamptons International said. Particularly popular locations included Sevenoaks in Kent, Broxbourne in Hertfordshire and Bath in Somerset.
Though only around one in five Londoners relocated to the Midlands or the North of England, this figure represents a three-fold increase over the last decade. Daventry in Northamptonshire and Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire were especially popular locations for Londoners seeking homes outside of the South.
Hamptons International said Londoners relocating from the capital in 2018 spent an average of £398,910 on their home — a hefty figure, but below London's average property price of £473,000.
Hamptons International's Aneisha Beveridge said of their findings: "Historically most people moving out of London have done so because of changing priorities, such as starting a family or generally wanting a slower pace of life. But increasingly, as affordability in the capital is stretched, more households are looking beyond the confines of London to buy their first home."
However, Beveridge also predicted that 2018 is "likely to be a peak [year]" for quitting the capital. “A slower housing market in 2019 will likely mean that we see fewer Londoners buying homes outside the capital than in 2018,” she explained.
Back in August, Emma Griffiths, a 32-year-old woman who works in the museums and archives sector, told Refinery29 that she and her husband had relocated from Bromley in southeast London to Staffordshire in the Midlands because they "wanted to buy a bigger place – a house with at least three bedrooms".
But she also said the move had given the couple other lifestyle benefits.
"In the sector that I work in I'd get paid largely the same whether I work in London or anywhere else, but the cost of living is a bit cheaper in the Midlands, and the commute into Birmingham is quieter and less stressful than the commute I had into central London from Bromley," she added.