Reading London

London leavers target Reading among other commuter towns

Cheaper housing and rental prices and a shorter commute are some of the reasons people are leaving London, and Reading is proving the most popular alternative.

London house prices are known for being sky-high, but the cost of living crisis – off the back of Covid and its ensuing lockdowns – is spurring people on to reassess their priorities and causing many to leave the big city.

That being said, the ‘London exodus’ is now showing signs of slowing down, according to the latest analysis from CompareMyMove. Last year, the number of people opting out of the capital fell by around 31% compared to 2021’s figures.

This is likely to be due to the immediate after-effects of a series of lockdowns that changed many people’s lifestyles and working options. A huge number of people began to work from home either some or all of the time, and this has continued to some extent, meaning city living stopped being essential for many, causing an increase in leavers.

What’s happening now?

In the latest research, the first quarter of this year was “busy” in terms of the numbers of people both arriving in and leaving London. But where are people going?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those moving out of London are most likely to head to the nearby region of the south east. This accounts for 35% of all London moves, and has placed Reading in top position as the most likely town to relocate to.

Below is an outline of the percentage of London leavers who move to each UK region:

    1. South East – 35.69%
    2. East of England – 15.52%
    3. East Midlands – 11.17%
    4. South West – 11.11%
    5. North West – 7.42%
    6. West Midlands – 5.59%
    7. Yorkshire and the Humber – 4.42%
    8. Scotland – 4.01%
    9. Wales – 2.4%
    10. North East – 2.13%

Looking specifically at the individual places  London leavers are moving to, the top 10 are listed as:

  1. Reading
  2. Brighton
  3. Woking
  4. Guildford
  5. High Wycombe
  6. Tunbridge Wells
  7. Slough
  8. Sevenoaks
  9. Hemel Hempstead
  10. Aylesbury

The data shows that the majority of people who move out of London stay relatively close to the capital, with fewer people moving to the further regions of the country. Still, the UK’s major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Bristol are also popular places to move to.

Why Reading?

Reading has long since been a hugely popular town among those who want to commute to London but enjoy a cheaper and more laid-back life. The opening of Crossrail has further cemented its position as a place live and enjoy while working in the city, as the commute now takes from just 23 minutes.

It is also an increasingly popular town in its own right for those who want to work there, too, with a huge amount of regeneration and improvements taking place there. The employment market is also strong in Reading, particularly for the technology, telecoms and creative industries.

House prices in Reading, as well as rental prices, are much more affordable, too. The average house price according to Rightmove is £499,731, while in London it is £725,715. Rental values are also more affordable, but offer competitive yields for those who invest in the town.

Dave Sayce, owner and managing director of Compare My Move, said: “It’s clear that although the London exodus is slowing down, many people are still moving out of London for cheaper house prices and short commutes to their jobs. Compare My Move has seen a busy Q1 for moves in and out of London with no sign of this slowing down.”

BuyAssociation specialises in helping property investors from the UK and overseas find their next investment opportunity in the UK, with access to some of the most up-and-coming locations and developments across the country. Browse some of our current projects, including in Reading, or get in touch for more information.

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