Record numbers of tenants flee London to escape soaring rents
As prices rise, tenants are fleeing London amid rising mortgage rates in the UK.
Tenants are fleeing London in record numbers in search of more affordable and larger rental properties in the Home Counties, according to a new report.
Two in every five renters moving to London chose to leave the capital for good last year, up from 28 percent a decade ago, according to Hamptons estate agents.
The number of households fleeing the city reached 90,370, more than doubling from the previous year, and the highest since records began a decade ago. More than a third (38%) of tenants moved to the Midlands or North.
Spike in rent
Rents in London have increased by 9.1 percent since last year, driving the exodus. Due to high mortgage rates, some landlords have sold their properties, leaving tenants competing for a smaller pool of available homes, while other landlords are putting up prices that reflect the increase in mortgage costs.
The average rental property in London cost £2,141 per month in January, up from £1,962 the previous year. The average monthly rent in central London has risen to £2,753. Rents in the UK have risen by 8.3% in the last year, the fastest rate since January 2014.
Tenants were drawn to areas bordering London, with Tandridge in Surrey being the most popular.
Numbers recorded that half of Tandridge's renters (52%) came from London, while 46% of those moving to Epping Forest in Essex and Sevenoaks in Kent came from the capital.
Leavers were disproportionately from London's poorest areas, with more than 68% coming from the 50% most deprived areas.
Read next: Demand for rental homes in UK has risen by 23% in a year
Despite moving to more affluent areas, most renters were able to find a home that was nearly 28% less expensive than where they previously lived.
"The rapid recovery of London rents over the last year has left record numbers of tenants looking around for cheaper options," said Aneisha Beveridge of Hamptons.
“While the commuter belt is often prohibitively expensive for would-be first-time buyers, low yields mean renting remains relatively affordable compared to buying. The number of homes on the market here has increased faster than in the capital this year, tempting tenants to cross the M25.”
London emigrants are increasingly keeping their jobs in the capital while working remotely or commuting back and forth.
Rents, according to Beveridge, are unlikely to fall as landlords face "tough decisions" about whether to sell rather than remortgage at higher rates.
Beveridge reported that interest rates are expected to drop later this year, bringing some relief for landlords.
Read next: Soaring energy bills result in a trail of discord between tenants: UK