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International Property

Rising London property prices blamed for record exodus

England’s capital saw 330,000 people leave for greener pastures in the first six months of 2017, according to government figures

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 29 June, 2018, 7:58pm

The number of people leaving London for a new life elsewhere in Britain has reached its highest level, according to an analysis of official data.

More than 330,000 people made the move during the year to June 2017. Newham was the London borough that experienced the biggest exodus, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

As recently as 2016, London was the fastest-growing English region, but its growth rate halved in the space of a year, driven by people in their 30s and early 40s with young children deciding to pack up and leave, according to the ONS.

Property agent Knight Frank, which analysed the figures, said they showed that migration from London to other parts of the UK had reached a record level.

“As well as a desire to trade up the housing ladder in search of more space, increased employment opportunities outside London means people are becoming more confident to make the move from the capital,” it said.

Top destinations for London leavers were said to include Birmingham, Brighton, Thurrock in Essex, Bristol, Dartford in Kent and Epping Forest, on the border of northeast London and Essex.

The figures came a day after a report from the Resolution Foundation think tank said London’s expensive property prices were leading to an exodus of people in their early 30s.

The ONS revealed that the UK’s population was 66,040,229 as at 30 June 2017, an increase of 392,000 since mid-2016. This represented the lowest annual rate of growth since 2004, and was attributed to a fall in net migration, fewer births and more deaths than in previous years.

“The effect is most pronounced in London and other areas that have seen high levels of immigration in recent years,” said Neil Park, head of the population estimates unit at the ONS.

In the year to June 2017, net outward migration from London reached 106,608, with 229,405 individuals arriving from other parts of Britain, and 336,013 quitting for the suburbs, other UK towns and cities and rural areas, according to the organisation. This net figure is up more than 14 per cent on 2016, and 55 per cent higher than five years earlier, said Knight Frank.

Areas of the capital that experienced large outflows include Newham, the East London borough where the 2012 Olympic stadium is. There, the “internal migration inflow” totalled 21,326, but more people – 31,175 – left for other parts of the UK. There were similar trends in Brent, Ealing, Haringey and Redbridge.

“London had a particular concentration of local authorities with high net outflows, reflecting the high net outflow for the London region overall,” said the ONS. “An important explanation for this is that many parents with young children move out of London.”