A snippet from our Prime Moves Report in partnership with LonRes.
Staying in London
Moves within London still outnumber moves outside.
Londoners like to stay in their city – especially in the prime areas. Overall 58% of Londoners stay in the city, but in prime London 63% stay put and three quarters of them stay in a prime area. The proportion of sellers staying within London peaked in 2013 at 67%. That was when price growth in London was outstripping the rest of the country by a wide margin and expectations of future growth were still strong. It made sense for Londoners to continue to benefit from price rises by staying in the capital.
In 2014 the gap between prices in London and elsewhere peaked and as it has narrowed, London sellers have taken the opportunity to cash in on previous gains. This year, with slower price growth in London’s prime postcodes and weaker expectations about future price growth, more are moving away. The proportion of sellers staying in London has fallen to 58%.
Yet there is still loyalty to London, especially in the more expensive neighbourhoods. Those selling up in high value prime central London were the least likely to leave London. This year 63% of those selling in prime central London, chose to stay in the capital. Of those staying in London 78% bought another home in a prime area.
The most recent LonRes survey showed 86% of London agents had vendors looking to move outside the capital. Those selling in prime London were looking to trade up on space, but not necessarily planning to spend more on their new home.
Of the 42% of sellers leaving prime areas of London for a home elsewhere in the UK, relocation to the home counties remains the most popular choice. The commuter hotspots of South East England have consistently been the most popular areas, allowing buyers to maintain strong connections with London. Almost half (48%) of those leaving prime London chose to relocate to the South East.
Those leaving prime London for another prime location outside the city were most likely to spend more. Forty percent of sellers in prime London moving to another prime location spent more as they traded up on size, compared with just 18% moving to a non-prime location.
Meanwhile those moving from non-prime areas of London tend to head to the East of England. Thirty-eight percent of non-prime London movers went East, compared with 23% of prime London movers. Price is a significant factor in this decision. Those moving from London this year paid on average 30% less for a new home in the East of England than one in the South East.
Buyers not heading to the three most popular regions (South East, South West and East of England) relocated predominantly to the Midlands and North West of England. Excluding moves to the South East, South West and East of England 25% of buyers moved to the West Midlands and 19% to the East Midlands.
Unsurprisingly a higher proportion of buyers relocated to the North West (24%) where economic conditions and distance from the capital are more favourable than the North East (4%).
To download the full report, click here: http://www.hamptons.co.uk/publications/focus-reports/