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London Outbound Migration at Record Levels, Home Affordability Key Driver

London Outbound Migration at Record Levels, Home Affordability Key Driver


According to UK's Office for National Statistics, which tracks internal moves within the UK, migration from London to other parts of the UK reached its highest ever level in 2018.

International property consultant Knight Frank reports Scotland was the most popular destination for London leavers, though there is no breakdown of where specifically individuals moved within the country. Birmingham was the most popular destination with England, followed by Brighton and Hove, Thurrock and Bristol.

"Relative housing affordability is likely to have influenced the decision of some to leave London," said Oliver Knight, an Associate in the Knight Frank residential research team. "As will the desire and opportunity to 'trade up the housing ladder'. The flow of families out of London forms a natural part of any city's life cycle, but increased employment opportunities in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester also act as a draw. Improvements to transport infrastructure, including the Elizabeth Line and HS2 will extend the scale of the commuter zone."

Some 340,500 Londoners left the capital for another destination within the UK in the year to June 2018, 1.3% higher than in 2017.

The number of individuals moving into the city from other parts of the UK, meanwhile, was 237,270 - a 3.4% increase from 2017 - giving a net migration figure out of the capital (the number of people leaving minus the number of people moving in) of 103,230 - some 3.2% lower than in 2017 when net internal migration out of London stood at 106,608.

Net migration out of the capital was highest among Londoners in their 30s, with the most popular destinations concentrated around the capital's commuter belt with places including Elmbridge, Epping Forest and Reigate in the top ten.

Whilst overall net migration may be negative, London's population continues to grow thanks to birth rates and migration from outside of the UK.

The only age group that had a positive net migration figure in the capital, according to the statistics, was those in their early twenties. This is likely to reflect the large number of graduates who move to London after their studies.

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