Fewer People are Leaving London for Greener Pastures and More are Returning
4th July 2011
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Once upon a time, the trend was for young couples living in London to abandon their urban lifestyles in exchange for a more rural location, complete with a pair of Wellies, trusty family dog and a long commute into work.  But currently, London is experiencing a surging number of people choosing to stay in the capital to raise their families.  In some cases, there is  even a reverse migration of empty nesters looking to come back to the Big Smoke. 

The Evening Standard recently reported on this change in trends as seen in a YouGov survey released last week.  The report revealed that the capital’s core population has soared by more than 500,000 to 7.6 million during the past decade.  This population surge has been buoyed up by mainly middle class couples and families who are  no longer dreaming of trading urban convenience for a rural idle.

Young Families

In fact, with stressful, expensive and time-consuming commutes sited as the primary reason for families to remain in London, many people are in fact trying to move closer to the centre of the City rather than withdrawing to its outskirts.  With public transport so much more readily available in the capital, many families are giving up cars to walk, cycle or catch the tube to work, which also saves on ever-rising petrol costs. 

Having seen this trend on the horizon, Northfields opened a new office in Paddington in early 2011.  If investing in property is something that you are interested in, taking advantage of areas like Paddington, where demand is increasing, will certainly strengthen your portforlio.  If you would like some advice in investing in this trend, call our Sales office on 0208 840 6666.

Another factor underpinning the influx of families to the city is that many affluent young families have two breadwinners with equally important careers.  With both partners needing to commute and be near the office, a central location makes financial sense as well as being a time saving measure.

Northfields recently highlighted Hammersmith as being particularly desirable for families looking for an urban area that meets all their needs.  With award winning schools in abundance and with so many transport links meeting in Hammersmith, W6 is the perfect location for urban families.

Empty Nesters

For those people whose children are fledging the nest, returning to London is a viable option once again.  Many couples in their late 40’s or 50’s who moved to locations in the South East while their families were young in order to buy larger homes are now returning to London.  Again, being freed  from the commute is sited as a big motivator for these home movers, but being released from the burden of caring for high maintenance homes and gardens is also a factor for many. 

Such couples might look for modern conveniences in a property like energy efficiency, easy maintenance outdoor space and added levels of security such as concierge services or underground parking.  Flats in buildings like the one Northfields currently is offering for sale in Hillcrest Road, would fit the bill nicely.  For couples approaching retirement, these types of properties would allow them to follow dreams of more leisure time, or even more travel abroad, knowing that their property is safe and looked after.

Green Space

Staying in London does not mean that green space is lost  with the abundance of parks in London.  However, for those buyers who are looking to move back into London from areas outside the capital, the neighbourhood will be as big a factor as the property itself.  With areas like West London being awarded for its green spaces and areas which maintain a community, village feel, like Pitshanger, London and Ealing in particular has a great deal to offer these people seeking a country-feel within the bounds of the M25. 

So whether you are bucking the trend and plan to leave London for greener pastures or want to move back into the capital or just closer to its centre, Northfields can help.  Call us on 0208 840 6666 for help selling or buying your property.

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