St Albans named top destination outside the capital for London's first-time-buyers

House prices in St Albans have increased by just 0.5 per cent year-on-year

St Albans is a popular choice among London's first-time-buyers. - Credit: Archant

St Albans has been revealed as the ultimate property hotspot for London movers buying their first home outside the capital. 

According to new research from Hamptons, first-time-buyers from London favoured a St Albans move over any other destination outside the capital during 2021. 

This was followed by Elmbridge in Surrey, Dartford in Kent, Reigate & Banstead in Surrey and Thurrock, Essex. 

In total, 38 per cent of London-based first-time-buyers left the capital to buy their first home this year. This saw them make up a quarter of the total amount of Londoners buying outside the capital – the highest share since Hamptons' records began.

A record £54.9bn was spent by Londoners on property outside the capital, and Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said 2021 is "likely to mark the largest outmigration from London for at least a generation".

She added: "Over the last 20 years, more homeowners have bought outside the capital than those who own in London today. City leavers have changed the geography of not only the commuter belt, but smaller towns and cities across southern England."

The rise of flexible working coupled with affordability barriers have resulted in a record number of first-time buyers leaving the capital to buy their first home, she said, adding: "The capital’s loss is the home counties' gain with these buyers prepared to move 24 per cent further than before the pandemic began, taking their wealth and experience with them."

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With regards to the long-term impact of the pandemic, Aneisha said the likely continuation of hybrid remote working will keep outmigration numbers above pre-pandemic norms.

"However, after this year’s frenzy, we expect the numbers to fall back a little, particularly as house prices outside the capital are set to continue outperforming London over the next few years," she said.

"We expect to see the number of London purchases outside the capital average around 85k in both 2022 and 2023, around 10k more than during the five years leading up to the pandemic.”