West Midlands top spot for house prices as Londoners head to Birmingham

The West Midlands now boasts the UK’s strongest house price rises, coupled with a massive increase in the number of people moving to Birmingham from London.

Although the growth is still there, house prices across the UK as a whole are rising at their slowest rate since 2013 according to Halifax, as transaction levels slow down and people approach the market with slightly more caution. The country saw annual price growth of just 2.1% in the second quarter of the year, partly pulled backwards by the struggling capital.

However, bucking the trend is the West Midlands, which saw the fastest growth in the UK after house prices shot up by 7% year-on-year. The economy in the region continues to grow with high levels of investment underway or in the pipeline, as well as the promise of major future transport infrastructure spending.

Why are Londoners leaving the capital?

Another factor to take into account is internal migration bringing more footfall and more new residents to the region, which is being led by Birmingham. While London has for many years been the target of the country’s “brain drain” attracting by far the highest number of young professionals, graduates and talented workforce, Birmingham has become a magnet for London leavers.
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According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released by Birmingham Live, more Londoners relocated to Birmingham than anywhere else in the country last year, with the city attracting 7,620 people from the capital. Compared to the number of people who moved in the opposite direction from Birmingham to London, at 6,960 the capital lost 660 people to the Midlands city – almost two per day.

The West Midlands as a whole attracted a huge 16,370 Londoners, compared to just 12,700 who moved from the region to the capital.

Competitive house prices keep West Midlands on top

Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst for Resolution Foundation, said: “London is a net exporter of people to the rest of the UK.

“This is likely due to high housing costs with figures suggesting that people are leaving London when they have children and want to put down roots, a struggle given property prices in the capital.”

While house prices in the West Midlands are seeing the strongest rises out of any UK region, it is still considerably more affordable as a place to live than London, while also offering a fantastic jobs market, thriving towns and cities and high living standards. Homes in the West Midlands cost an average £186,480, compared to London’s hefty £484,584 price tag, meaning everyone from first-time buyers to downsizers and property investors are more likely to be able to afford to snap up property there.

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