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Londoners selling up in record numbers to move north

27 August 2018

Hamptons International says relocations have trebled since 2010, with buyers drawn by bigger, cheaper houses

Record numbers of London homeowners are selling up to buy cheaper property in the north and Midlands, using profits made in the capital to splurge on bigger homes.

Research by agents Hamptons International found the proportion of Londoners leaving the capital for northern England or the Midlands had tripled since 2010.

The average Londoner quitting the capital pays £424,610 for their new property, enough to buy a large detached house in a good suburb of Birmingham but which only pays for a two-bed flat above a shop in east London.

Aneisha Beveridge, research analyst at Hamptons, said: “With affordability stretched, more Londoners are moving out of the capital to find their new home.”

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Many London leavers were looking for a bigger home or better local schools, Hamptons said. Beveridge added that hefty stamp duty charges were also pushing second-movers out of the capital. “More people are making a bigger move and buying a larger home sooner to avoid having to pay stamp duty on additional moves as they trade up. For many, this means heading further north.”

The average stamp duty bill for buying a detached home in the south is £14,780, compared with £5,358 in the north, Hamptons said.

But the absolute number of London leavers, will strike many as surprisingly low. Hamptons said 30,280 Londoners sold their homes in the first half of 2018 to move out of the capital, a rise of 16% over the same period last year but below the level of 2007 and just a tiny fraction of the city’s 8.8 million population.

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