With its wealth of employment opportunities, great transport links and thriving social scene, it’s no wonder seasoned Londoners find it hard to tear themselves away from the charms of the capital.
But according to new research that’s exactly what they’re doing in their droves, and money isn’t the only thing on their mind when they’re going out in search of property pastures new.
The survey of 1,000 Londoners commissioned by Berkeley Homes found that a quarter are contemplating leaving the capital, with the average time before Lexit (i.e. London + exit) – sorry we just had to coin a new term – averaging a period of four years or less.
Further figures revealed the reasoning behind this mass exodus. More than a than a third of those questioned admitted that the high cost of living would make staying in London unsustainable long-term.
Just over half (51 per cent), meanwhile, confessed that they found London life too stressful, while just under half also indicated that they felt they’d see an improvement in their quality of life if they relocated.
And when it comes to the area that soon-to-be ex-Londoners hope will offer them them a boost to their wellbeing, The Home Counties (generally considered to be Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex) came out on top.
Cheaper property and countryside views are just some of the things that survey participants hoped would be greeting them in their new life.
Commenting on the findings, Deana Everingham, sales and marketing director, Berkeley Homes (Western), said: ‘We have already seen a huge increase in people keen to move out of the capital in order to achieve a higher quality of life.
‘Of course there are aspects of London they will be sad to leave behind, but the findings suggest the benefits outweigh the negatives.
‘The Home Counties and beyond are becoming more appealing, with towns that previously might have been overlooked now becoming thriving epicentres in their own right.’
But despite all the excitement of their potential move, 55 per cent revealed that they worried about missing out on the ‘fun and excitement’ of the capital, including being in a good location for events such as music and comedy nights.
As a workaround a fifth said they would commute from their new country pad to London so that they’d still have one foot in the capital.
Everingham added: ‘Despite the perception among some of those polled, it is possible to get the best of both worlds – to enjoy everything great about London and to have the benefits of living outside the capital.
‘There are many locations which offer much shorter commuting times. Reading, the UK’s largest town, offers commuting times of just 26 minutes in London Paddington.
‘Known as the UK’s largest tech cluster, it offers the highest wages in the UK outside of London and now sees more people commuting daily into Reading, than leaving to travel to Central London.’
Would you consider upping sticks and moving to the Home Counties?