Birmingham top choice for Londoners priced out of the capital

Birmingham has emerged as the most popular destination for young Londoners looking to move to more affordable UK cities.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), a record number of Londoners in their thirties - 58,220 - left the capital in the year up to June 2013, with a net outflow of almost 22,000 moving away from the city.

With London house prices having risen by 19% in the past year alone, the prohibitively high cost of living is thought to be driving away the 30-39 age group, who may struggle to get on the property ladder or have young families to consider.

While many moved to Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford, according to the figures, Birmingham proved to be the number one choice with 5,480 moving from London to the West Midlands city, where the average house price is £133,700 - compared to London's £402,800 and the UK average of £185,700.

Ed Cox, director of the IPPR North thinktank, believes that those who moved to London for their careers are increasingly looking to take their next step elsewhere. “Young people may be initially attracted by jobs in the capital, but then they recognise that if they want to move on and get on to the housing ladder, there are opportunities in other cities," he told The Observer. "We are starting to see the benefits of the recovery, particularly for higher-skilled jobs that are being created in cities outside London.”

The ONS report, which revealed a desire for a "greener and quieter" environment for children may also be a factor, was based on NHS data and so the true figure may be higher still.

A study earlier this year named London as the most expensive city to live in worldwide, with residents paying an average of £2,500 a month in rent.


Average UK price: £185,700

London: £402,800

Oxford: £333,400

Bristol: £217,300

Manchester: £137,000

Birmingham: £133,700

Nottingham: £128,500

Image: Rex Features

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