Ripple effect reaches West as London exodus hits record levels
22 August 2017 by Emma Forster
Londoners are heading West in ever increasing numbers as the capital and surrounding counties bloated property markets push house prices and rents beyond their reach.
Also, the exodus from London will sharpen local house prices as incomers cash in on comparatively lower prices and check out larger properties which would have been out of their price bracket back home.
That’s the view of fast-rising Bristol builders Helm Construction, who say local buyers will increasingly find themselves bidding against wantaway Londoners.
Finance Director Adam Marks said: “We are already getting anecdotal information from locals stretching themselves to afford a property which would appear to be the bargain of the century to a cash buyer from the London boroughs, for instance.
“As increased numbers of Londoners become active in the Bristol and Bath property market, the scales will be tipped against local home seekers and will particularly affect first time buyers looking to get onto the property market.
“They had been given a brief reprieve recently as many potential buy to let purchasers who had been active in the market appear to have gotten cold feet following Government tax changes, continued fears over Brexit and of course the recent election and air of uncertainty that the result brought.
“Many of them are sitting back and waiting for the right moment - as lots of people presently renting in London are also heading west in the expectation of far cheaper rental properties to choose from.”
He added: “According to figures in the FT almost 300,000 people have left London for places like Cambridge and Dartford – but Bristol and Bath are clearly attractive destinations given the motorway and rail links.
“They are also fantastic places to live with a great quality of life so it’s no surprise more people are being drawn here.”
But Adam Marks is concerned the latest exodus from the capital will increase competition for homes in an already flat market and inflate local prices further.
“Everywhere you look, Bristol is building – but the supply is not meeting the existing demand let alone increased competition from ex- Eastenders.
“While London buyers might energise the local market and get people moving further up the property ladder, it’s going to make life difficult for those people struggling to get on the bottom rung.”
Fast-growing builders Helm Construction has doubled in size to keep up with an ever expanding order book and is now seeing a marked increase in larger projects of 10 – 20 units and up.