Majority of FTBs choosing to leave London for initial home purchase

More first-time buyers are choosing to leave London to purchase their first property.

An investigation for the Times has revealed that more than half (51 percent) of prime central London residents who left the capital to buy a home were first-time buyers in 2018.

Less than a decade ago (2010), that figure was 37 percent.

Prime London refers to the likes of Westminster, Kensington and Knightsbridge where many young people are renters.

In the past, those renters moved to more affordable boroughs to buy their first home.

However, the analysis of FTBs by Hamptons International for the Times showed the majority now leave London altogether as property prices in the capital move further out of reach of FTBs.

Joanna Cocking of Hamptons International told the Times it was more than simply a lack of affordability that is pushing FTBs to leave London.

She said: “There’s a weariness of London among many first-time buyers. There are concerns over security and also a sense that London is very hard work.

“In your 20s, London is an amazing city to be in, but in your 30s, that changes. People become concerned about schools and being near green spaces, and they find London isn’t the answer.”

The most popular destinations for FTBs moving out of London to purchase a home are the commuter belts around the capital and the south-west, including Bath and north-east Somerset.

Hamptons International analysed data provided by estate agents Countrywide to trace the paths FTBs take when leaving London.