How the new home-buyers are leaving London behind

Londoners in their thirties are getting out of the capital Pic: Gerry Balding

Londoners in their thirties are getting out of the capital Pic: Gerry Balding

You’ve saved up for years. You’re finally ready to take the plunge and move into your first home. Perhaps it’s the big leap for you and your significant other. Or maybe your parents have downsized so that you can make your first step on the ladder.

And if you were thinking of buying in London you will certainly need to have saved up a lot. Last year housing group JLL reported that first time buyers in the capital would need to save up £70,000 as a deposit for their first place, allowing them to spend a massive £305,000 on their first place.

But with the average age of a first time buyer in London being 37, perhaps the time has come to fly the nest, looking further afield for the home of your dream.  Recent figures from the ONS showed that between June 2012 and 2013, there was a net outflow of 22,000 thirty-somethings from London, with over 58,000 leaving for destinations including Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

But for many it will be hard to say goodbye to the capital and to their dreams of a home in the ideal neighbourhood. You might have always wanted that Kensington address but you’ll be shocked at what value you could find if you’re willing to cast your net a bit wider. To Kensington in Liverpool, for instance.

Eastlondonlines helps you to get the most bang for your buck, so wallets at the ready folks, we’re off on our trip around Britain.

Clapton and Clacton

In spite of the fact we here at ELL regularly report on the Hackney ward of Clapton, we have lost count of the number of times we have confused it with the Essex seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea. But when it comes to properties there’s no need for any confusion.

The north London neighbourhood has become an increasingly popular area of Hackney, meaning that your £300,000 would get you a cosy new build flat with bedrooms for you and your guest.

Travel 80 miles east to Clacton-on-Sea (from where commuters can get to London Liverpool Street in just an hour and a half) and your money goes an awful lot further. According to Rightmove you could be the proud owner of a fabulous four-bed family home with two en-suites. And you could still commute to the City with ease.


Whitechapel and Whitchurch

Plenty of neighbourhoods around the UK are named after vanilla basilicas. But few can be as pricey as the Tower Hamlets neighbourhood. Despite significant poverty in the recent past the historic neighbourhood’s proximity to the City has led to house prices skyrocketing, with a two-bedroom flat in the area now being marketed as an investment opportunity. Travel to the gorgeous Whitchurch village just outside of the Welsh capital and you could be living in an “immaculate” newly refurbished bungalow.

A no-brainer surely?


charing cross pic fmpgoh

Charing Cross London Pic: fmpgoh


Charing Cross and Charing Cross

There are few places that scream London as much as Charing Cross. Situated just a few minutes walk from Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and the river. And all those fabulous locations come at the cost of affordable housing. This really isn’t the place to look for when it comes to affordable housing. But if you and another friend are willing to squeeze in tightly you could pool your money and still be £5,000 short of the asking price for a charming studio flat above a branch of Gap.

Try the thriving city of Glasgow, still the 1990 European Capital of Culture, and its Charing Cross station. For much less than half the price, an adorable three bed flat with all mod cons. Even the property’s estate agent was forced to display that rarest of qualities in a house salesman: honesty.

The agent wrote on Zoopla: “It doesn’t happen often but, just occasionally, even a flat-jaded estate agent falls a little bit in love with their subject. This, the crème de la crème of Glasgow’s tenement high society, is an effortlessly faultless, uber refined 3 bedroom home of vogue interiors quality and is arguably the jewel in the crown of city centre living.”


Kensington and Kensington

You’d get a nine-bed house in Kensington, Liverpool. It might not be the most desirable of mansions but imagine. Nine bedrooms! That’s a bedroom for every night of the week! And then some!

And of course you would expect us to make the lazy old joke that in Kensington you could only afford a parking space at that price. Well we won’t. Because you couldn’t. Yes, at £315,000, a typical London first-time buyer might not even be able to afford a parking space in Prince’s Gate, SW7. Admittedly for your six figure sum you do get valet parking AND a handmade peach skin vehicle cover. So that your car has that just-ripe feel.


Moseley, a small village near Birmingham pic: Pete Ashton

Moseley, a small village near Birmingham pic: Pete Ashton

Moseley Row and Moseley

And we continue to flog this dead horse with this village outside Birmingham. Moseley, the inspiration for some of JRR Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, was recently voted the best place to live in the UK. Moseley Row in Greenwich is not. And yet you wouldn’t know it considering what £305,000 gets you. In Moseley, a fabulous four bed town house with 134 square meters of space. Near to Moseley Row a brand new one bed apartment, 53 square meters.


Samuel Johnson once said that: “When a man is tired of London he is tired of life.” That may be as true now as it was in 1777 but Johnson probably wasn’t paying half a million for a flat in Dalston.

While it surely comes as no surprise that house prices in the capital are higher than the rest of the UK, the scale of the divide is breathtaking. With the London property market showing no signs of slowing down, it’s little wonder that so many thirty-somethings are upping sticks and heading for the ‘provinces’.

All housing data correct as of March 9. Property data from Zoopla unless otherwise stated.


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