Property News

30-Somethings Leaving London as Housing Becomes too Expensive

Em Morley - September 27, 2016

High housing costs and unstable private tenancies are forcing 30-somethings and young families to leave London, according to a worrying report from tenant group Generation Rent.

The organisation has analysed Government data, which shows that net migration from the capital among 30-somethings and young children has soared by 41% since 2012.

In 2014-15, 65,890 adults aged between 30-39 moved out of London to another part of the UK, compared with the 35,480 30-somethings who moved into the capital, according to internal migration data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This net loss of 30,410 people compares to 20,590 in 2011-12, when 58,130 30-somethings moved out and 37,530 moved to London.

30-Somethings Leaving London as Housing Becomes too Expensive

30-Somethings Leaving London as Housing Becomes too Expensive

There has also been a similar rise in the amount of children being moved out of London, with 26,920 more under-10s leaving the capital for another part of the UK than arriving in 2014-15, up from 19,980 in 2011-12. Young families have long been the most common group to leave London, however, the faster growing rate of 30-39 year olds moving out of the capital suggests that many are making the decision before they start a family.

Generation Rent believes that London is becoming a turn-off to younger age groups, as the net migration of 25-29 year olds dropped from a high of 11,680 in 2013-14 to 9,990 in 2014-15.

This exodus occurred during a period when house prices in London surged by 37%, compared to 16% across the UK as a whole, and rents rose by 10%, compared with 4% outside the capital.

Of the people leaving London for another part of the UK, 64% moved to the South East and East of England commuter belt, while 12% moved to the Midlands, 11% to the north, 9% to the South West, and 5% to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. These proportions have remained fairly consistent over recent years.

Generation Rent’s report comes as a warning to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is being given the task of keeping housing costs down to avoid even more Londoners leaving the capital, which would impede its economy and weaken communities.

In the report, the group calls on Khan to ensure that his housing policies tackle the affordability crisis and allow people of all incomes to continue living in the capital.

Generation Rent’s recommendations include:

  • Homes let at the London Living Rent should be targeted at tenants for whom the median London rent is over 30% of their income.
  • Khan should commission a large-scale investigation into different forms of rent control for the wider private rental sector.
  • In his negotiations with the Government for additional powers on housing, Khan should demand powers over landlord licensing and indefinite tenancies in the private rental sector, to ensure that private renting is a genuine long-term option in London.
  • Khan should push for the largest possible grant allocation for a new generation of social housing and roll out his priority for Londoners pledge, to ensure that residents get first access to new homes, rather than absent investors and landlords.

The Director of Generation Rent, Betsy Dillner, comments: “Growing numbers of Londoners are giving up on the city and its extortionate housing market. London is an incredible city, and the decision to move away isn’t taken lightly. These people are leaving friends and family in order to find a home they can afford, and some are leaving their jobs. This should worry everyone in London, from employers facing a loss of skills, to communities losing valued neighbours, and particularly Sadiq Khan, whose housing policies will need to stop this exodus.”

Landlords, what did you think about this reported exodus and how would it affect you?