In the first half of 2022 Londoners bought 40,540 homes outside the capital, 19% more than the pre-Covid average, research from Hamptons shows.
Investors made up 19% of these buyers, up from 15% in 2019.
This means that a record 65% of London-based investors now purchase their buy-to-lets outside the capital, up from 26% a decade ago.
They spent £210,070 on average, equating to a total of £1.6bn invested in H1 2022.
The appeal of higher yields further North has meant that 28% of these investors purchased buy-to-lets in the North of England, up from 11% a decade ago.
This is reflected in the fact that the average investor purchased 102.8 miles away from their London home so far this year, up from 77.0 miles in 2017.
Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “Strong house price growth outside of London over the last year has meant that buyers have had to move even further outside the M25. The average Londoner moved 35 miles, the equivalent of trading Fulham for Farnham or Canary Wharf for Chelmsford – an extra mile further than in 2021. The distance London leavers move is likely to continue rising until at least 2024 as house price growth in the capital continues to lag behind the rest of the country.
“While many Londoners have traded the city lights for a country abode, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of people moving into the capital this year – both tenants and buyers, from the UK and abroad. So far this year 13.3% of people buying a home in London came from the regions, the second highest figure on record. A sign that perhaps London hasn’t quite lost its sparkle!”
A record 28% of homes were bought by a first-time buyer, up from 22% in 2019 and just 13% a decade ago.
Beveridge added: “It’s becoming increasingly evident that one of the biggest Covid-related housing market trends – moving out of London for the country – could be here to stay.
“Despite more people returning to London offices this year, the rate at which households have upped-sticks and headed out of town has continued apace.
“While last year families relocating to gain more space accounted for nearly three in five Londoners buying outside the capital, this year the figures have been driven by first-time buyers, many of whom were renting in the capital.
If this pace continues throughout the year, Londoners are set to buy 88,210 homes outside the capital in 2022. This is equivalent to the total number of homes sold in Yorkshire & The Humber last year (88,506) and 18% more than pre-Covid times when London purchases outside the capital averaged 74,980 each year between 2015 and 2019.