Revealed: the Londoners buying up homes in Preston

Two per cent of properties in the area were snapped up by people from LondonTwo per cent of properties in the area were snapped up by people from London
Two per cent of properties in the area were snapped up by people from London
Cheaper properties in city being snapped up by investors in the capital

Around one in 50 homes on the market in Preston were bought by Londoners escaping the capital this year, figures from estate agent Hamptons suggest.

That is according to an analysis of sales data in 112 areas by the estate agent.

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The firm said two per cent of properties in the area bought between January 1 and December 12 were snapped up by people from London – up from one per cent the previous year.

Its data showed that, across Britain as a whole, people leaving London purchased nearly 74,000 homes over the period – the most since 2016, when they bought more than 78,000.

And they are travelling further since the housing market re-opened in May following the first Covid-19 lockdown, the analysis suggests.

The median distance moved by a Londoner buying outside the capital hit 40 miles for the first time in over a decade, up from just 28 miles during the first three months of the year.

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The median is the middle of a range of figures, meaning it will not be skewed by people who moved exceptionally long distances.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at the company, said: “While leaving London has been a rite of passage for many – often for families reaching life stage milestones – the effects of lockdown and the desire for space seems to have heightened this drift.

“We expect this out-migration trend to continue into the first half of next year too. But usually as prices in the capital begin to flatline, which we forecast to happen in the second half of 2021, more Londoners decide to stay put.

“Even so, given the housing market has been anything but normal since the onset of Covid, we expect to see the total number of homes bought by London leavers next year hit 2016 levels.”

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Sevenoaks in the South East saw the biggest increase in capital leavers, with the share of homes bought by Londoners rising from 23 per cent to 62 per cent.

This was followed by Windsor and Maidenhead, also in the South East, where the figure rose from 11 per cent to 38 per cent.

Ms Beveridge said the Stamp Duty Tax holiday brought in earlier this year had encouraged more homeowners to make the shift.

She added that the prospect of homeworking more regularly has also meant people are keener to move further afield.