Young people are discovering it pays to move out of LondonCurrent affairsNews
In 2015, the number of people leaving London more than doubled, the highest spike in a trend which has been developing slowly for just over half a century. The driving force behind this movement appears to be coming predominantly from Londoners in their mid thirties or younger.
This fleeing generation, the millennials, have been the most severely affected by the soaring expensive of buying or renting a property in the capital. In conjunction with student loans and the rising cost of living in London, it is, perhaps, little wonder that the number of first time buyers opting to settle outside of the city has increased by 70% within the last year.
The financial appeal of life outside the capital
Many young people living in London are held there by the promise of employment and higher wages. However, as individuals moving away are quickly discovering, taking a cut in annual income can actually give them a financial advantage.
As The Economist pointed out in 2014, the average income may be a few thousand pounds higher in London, but the average cost of a house is very often more than double that of other areas. For people choosing to accept less well paid jobs elsewhere in the country, they increase their likelihood of having a larger disposable income and, therefore, the ability to afford a higher quality of life.
It’s easier to move than ever
The cost of moving house can be costly, even without considering the cost of the property itself. In the past ten years the cost of moving has increased by 59% to almost £12,000. As is reflected in their decisions to accept smaller incomes, millennials take a pragmatic approach to risk – it can be justified if the long term financial benefits outweigh the initial expense.
As the largest, most influential generation, a lot of industries – including real estate – are adapting their services to cater more specifically to millennials. First time movers and homeowners today have access to innovative methods for arranging removals at reduced expenditure. The transport management company AnyVan, for instance, can arrange for the best suited local removal companies to add a requirement to their existing route. This keeps the cost down for the mover, as the transport company will already be in the vicinity. Similarly, the mobile marketplace for on-demand work, TaskRabbit, allows users to find moving help at a cost-effective rate.
City life just isn’t appealing to the millennial generation
One of the generation defining features of the millennial generation is their craving for new experiences and life satisfaction. Disheartened by London’s financial restraints, millennials no longer look to the city to tick either of these boxes.
This may, in part, be caused by young people starting families and moving out of the city to raise their children. More than 60,000 families moved out of the capital in 2015, taking advantage of the property boom and cashing in their properties for better value for money homes elsewhere.
Many millennials are seeking new lives in smaller cities, where the cultural and employment appeal is still high, but the cost of living is lower. The property company Hamptons International reported that the number of Londoners moving to the Midlands shot up by 165% in recent years – a trend which is expected to spread throughout the north and continue through parts of the South East, such as East Anglia.
For the youngest members of the generation – the “new young fogeys” – it may be that big city attractions are no longer part of the lifestyle their pursuing.
Nightclubs are being forced to close because too few a people are interested in spending their evenings and incomes on a night out. With other amenities being easily accessible across the country, including in less urban environments, the expense of living in London may be getting harder to justify.
The editorial unit