Londoners spent a record £55bn on homes outside the city

Londoners spent £55bn shopping for property exterior the British capital this yr because the coronavirus pandemic sparked a rush for extra residing area, based on an evaluation of official knowledge.

The findings by property agent Hamptons again up rising proof that the pandemic has realigned housing preferences, with doubtlessly critical penalties for the town’s inhabitants and housing market.

Residents of the capital poured £54.9bn into housing exterior Larger London in 2021, the best complete for a single calendar yr, shopping for property in commuter cities and additional afield, based on the research which used HM Income & Customs knowledge.

Londoners bought about 112,780 properties exterior of the capital, simply shy of the document 113,640 purchased in 2007, which was a pink scorching yr for the housing market, Hamptons stated.

The entire spent this yr smashed the earlier document of £36.6bn in 2007 and was up virtually 60 per cent on 2020 partly due to the fast home value inflation over the previous 12 months.

Whereas the excessive variety of transactions has been a nationwide phenomenon this yr, the rise in Londoners shopping for exterior the capital has been significantly pronounced, based on the research.

By forcing workplaces to shut or cut back capability, Covid-19 has triggered a spike in homeworking, which appears set to be sustained at the very least into the primary quarter of 2022 due to the fast unfold of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

That’s one purpose why movers are considering properties additional afield than they may have achieved beforehand, stated Neal Hudson, director of housing market analysis firm Residential Analysts.

“There’s been a normal reassessment of housing, with folks not needing to commute as they used to. That’s significantly true in London,” he stated.

The prospect of spending extra time working at residence has prompted what property brokers describe as a “race for area”, with patrons in search of bigger properties with gardens over metropolis centre flats.

Flats have additionally misplaced a few of their shine on account of the cladding security scandal within the aftermath of the Grenfell tower fireplace in 2017, which has overwhelmingly affected house blocks constructed over the previous 20 years.

The pandemic was largely chargeable for the exceptionally excessive variety of folks leaving the UK capital metropolis this yr, stated Aneisha Beveridge, head of analysis at Hamptons, including that “2021 is more likely to mark the biggest out migration from London for at the very least a technology”.

She added: “After this yr’s frenzy, we anticipate the numbers to fall again just a little, significantly as home costs exterior the capital are set to proceed outperforming London over the subsequent few years.”

However the majority shopping for exterior Larger London had remained throughout the capital’s orbit, the research discovered. Nearly half purchased within the south-east and 1 / 4 within the east of England. The commuter cities of Dartford, St Albans and Elmbridge have been specific hotspots, based on Hamptons.

During the last three many years, residents have tended to depart London from their mid-30s, as they begin households and search for bigger, extra inexpensive properties. The inhabitants of the town saved rising throughout that point due to immigration from the EU and a better stage of births than deaths.

However Hudson and Beveridge recommended that, if sustained, the upper outflows coupled with slower inward migration post-Brexit may gradual the expansion of the capital’s inhabitants.

“If there may be downward strain on the scale of London’s inhabitants, that would put some downward strain on home costs and rents,” stated Hudson.

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