The number of Londoners abandoning the capital for cities like Brighton, Birmingham and Bristol has reached a record level.
A total of 292,000 people left London in the 12 months to mid-2016, up 14% on a decade earlier and the highest level since 2006.
The most recent official figures, analysed by Barratt Homes and the Guardian, reveal people moved from London to every part of England and Wales except three areas: the remote Isles of Scilly, Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria and Torfaen in rural South Wales.
The most popular destinations included Brighton and Birmingham, whose populations were swollen by a combined 12,100 people from the capital; Bristol, which welcomed 4,210 people from London; and Manchester which attracted 4,150 incomers from the capital.
The vast majority moved to just outside the capital.
Bristol, the second most popular destination after Birmingham (outside of the south east’s suburbs and dormitory towns), saw 81 people a week moving into the city from London.
Given the population of Bristol is around 450,000, it means by the end of 2016 one in every 100 people living in Bristol had moved from London in the previous year.
Hundreds of thousands of people moved out of the capital for cheaper housing and a better quality of life, but tens of thousands did not have a choice.
Local authorities within London can no longer afford to buy housing stock to provide social housing for their council tenants, and so have taken to moving them to cheaper areas outside London.
The main driver to move out of London is the price of housing. At £482,000, average London house prices remain more than double those in the rest of the UK – £223,000.
The owner of a standard three-bed early 1900s terraced house in Walthamstow can sell it for more than half a million pounds, and be able to afford a huge family home in Bristol.
The Office for National Statistics figures reveal the most common age to move out of London is 34 for women and 36 for men.
Analysts suggested these are people who have got onto the property ladder, have small children and are moving out of the capital to be able to afford a bigger home.
People leaving Hackney were more likely to head to Bristol than anywhere else, while people leaving Kensington and Chelsea were most likely to end up in Oxford.
Danny Dorling, a professor of human geography at Oxford University, told the Guardian the biggest impact on local communities outside of London from immigration wasn’t from people moving there from abroad, but from London.
He said migration from London has “reduced many communities to shells of what they once were”.
DealMakerz isn’t surprised that the number of people leaving the capital has reached such high levels.
London’s housing market is becoming too expensive for many people and even councils have resorted to sending homeless families hundreds of miles away.
The figures are likely to put more pressure on London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan to ensure his affordable housing proposals become reality.
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