Londoners spending less outside the capital this year

Londoners spent £28.7bn on homes outside the capital this year, 29% or £11.7bn less than in 2022 and £20.1bn down on 2021 when outmigration peaked, Hamptons research has found.

First-time buyers made up a record 30% of Londoners buying outside the, up from 12% a decade ago.

London leavers are increasingly downsizing in both value and space. A record 77% of movers spent less on their new home outside the capital this year, up from 60% in 2022.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “With only around a million homes changing hands across Great Britain this year, fewer Londoners crossed the M25 in 2023.

“However, those that did tended to be downsizers or first-time buyers. Downsizers, tired of London life, are looking further afield to release cash and clear their remaining mortgage balance. Meanwhile higher mortgage rates have reduced first-time buyers’ purchasing power, pushing them to search for more affordable homes further afield.

“With mortgage rates expected to continue falling in 2024, the affordability picture should improve. We expect this to slow the pace of London outmigration somewhat, as younger Londoners can increasingly afford to buy locally.

“Upsizers, who have sat tight in a subdued 2023 market, are likely to come back into the fold as it gets cheaper to borrow, meaning they’re likely to dominate those leaving the capital next year.”

London-based first-time buyers are set to purchase 20,940 homes outside the capital in 2023, more than triple the number a decade ago (5,850). On average, they moved a record 25.5 miles outside the capital this year, up from 20.8 miles in 2019.

The more affordable commuter areas outside the M25 that have seen the biggest rise in the ratio of London prospective buyers to locals.

Back in 2019, Londoners pretty much matched applicants from elsewhere who were looking to buy in Epping Forest.

However, Londoners now dominate the market, and this year there were 3.9 would-be buyers from the capital looking to buy in Epping Forest for every would-be buyer from elsewhere.