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Why are so many people moving out of London?

07 December 2018

‘The Square Mile’, ‘The Big Smoke’, or as we know it… London. Home to iconic media, advertisement and some rich folk. But is it really the city of dreams for all? I’m sure us Northerners would disagree. 

Did you know that 419,806 people move into London in 2016-2017, according to the Office for National Statistics? That’s nearly half a MILLION people every half a decade chasing this glamorous city lifestyle! That does sound like an obscene rise in population. But the more shocking fact is that 438,926 are actually leaving!

Maybe the hustle and bustle of life in the capital just isn’t for everybody. And a recent study proves that more and more people are opting for a cheaper property in the ‘countryside’.

It is no secret that the lavish London lifestyle comes with a hefty price tag. But would you believe that the average living cost in London is 22% more than Leeds. The laws of supply and demand quite simply drive up property prices… higher demand, higher prices.

The average rent is valued at £1,500 a month and this is considered by many as too pricey. With utilities, travel, food, entertainment and personal care on top, this makes for an expensive… but by all means maintainable lifestyle. ‘Day-light robbery’ as my Grandad would say.  

But it would seem to me that it is not only the expense of living in London that is contributing to the current all time high number of people moving out of London. Some would say that London is over-populated. And with a population of 8.6 million people, I would say so too!

Rafael Behr proposes the idea of a ‘peerless’ London, a city in which ‘London’s bigness is transcendent’, and it does seem so. In the city that breeds, there (no surprise) are too little familiar faces. This got me thinking… When I nip to the shops makeup-less (of course) and in my comfies for a box of Yorkshire Tea, I’m guaranteed to bump into someone . Be it someone from school, an old dancing friend or an ex-boyfriend.

But this is perhaps an unimaginable phenomenon in the city of London. With such a vast population, the likelihood of bumping into an old friend or ex-colleague is highly unlikely. I can also imagine that streets constantly filled with tourists, commuters and people going about their business can become a pretty stressful environment for the locals! It really is no surprise that people are opting for a quieter suburban life. Who doesn’t want to spend their evenings in the local pub with the village vicar, your old (now retired) maths teacher, and Roy from over the road?

London offers an ever so rich culture and a diverse make-up. It would appear that the buzz of city life and the demanding, but exciting, lifestyle draws people from all over the world as a city bursting with opportunity and fulfilment. Surely this must stand for something, but is it any match for the cheaper, and somewhat cloudier North? I guess that’s just a matter of opinion.

But whether you’re team North or South, there’s no need to worry… New Chapter have offices in both! Contact us on 01132 182 410 to speak to one of our expert recruiters. 

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