It’s a common dinner party debate – is living in London really worth it? Friends will happily debate for hours the cost of living vs salary expectations vs quality of life and more, all while sipping fine wines in Islington and romanticising about another existence in Hull or Margate.
However, new research from real estate firm Hamptons has shown that the number of homeowners selling up and leaving London is on the rise.
Insurance For A New Home
From a home insurance point of view this raises multiple considerations. Firstly anyone moving from London is likely to have been living in a flat and therefore has probably not had to arrange buildings insurance.
They might not even have had to consider the security of a communal front door while a house outside London offers plenty of scope for home security features which might bring down home insurance premiums.
Moving home also presents risks of damage to contents which is why we provide cover for items in transit when moving home. A new postcode could also result in being declined for home insurance, or getting a significantly higher premium, so we can provide non-standard home insurance that may be more suited to your location.
Cashing In And Getting Out
In 2017, 58% of Londoners chose to stay in the city, down from a peak of 67% in 2013. Hamptons attributed this to rising property prices so it was financially sensible for homeowners in London to stay put while their houses grew in value.
In 2014 the gap between prices in London and elsewhere peaked. Since then this gap has narrowed and London sellers have taken the opportunity to cash in on previous gains. Last year, with slower price growth in London’s prime postcodes and weaker expectations about future price growth, more moved away. .
Home Counties Leads Retreat
Of the 42% of sellers leaving prime areas of London for a home elsewhere in the UK, relocation to the home counties remained the most popular choice.
Naturally commuter hotspots of South East England have consistently claimed the top spot, allowing buyers to maintain strong connections with London. Almost half (48%) of those leaving prime London chose to relocate to somewhere in the South East.
Those leaving non-prime areas of London moved to the East of England where properties are cheaper than in the South East. In 2017 they paid on average 30% less for a new home in the East of England than one in the South East.
Buyers who didn’t end up in the three most popular regions (South East, South West and East of England) tended to head for the Midlands or the 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%).