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Thirty-somethings are leaving London in record numbers

James Manning

In your twenties, you’re decently equipped to take whatever the London property market can throw at you: squalid housing with no outdoor space, thin walls and noisy neighbours. But the big three-oh makes you start wondering about your ‘Fleabag’-esque existence in the greatest city in the world. You’ve always bought into the ‘tired of London, tired of life’ steez, but maybe you could be buying into something else instead… like a three-bed house for less than a squillion pounds.

Hence the massive outflow of thirty-somethings revealed in a new survey by housing pressure group Generation Rent. We’ve already mapped London’s exodus, as revealed in new ONS data on internal migration. But Generation Rent have drilled down into the same figures to show a sharp increase in people in their thirties leaving the city. More than 65,000 thirty-somethings left London for another part of the UK in 2014-15 – a 48 percent rise from 2011-12.

The city also lost almost 27,000 children under ten to other areas in the country, suggesting that some of those thirty-somethings might be moving their young families out for a bit of space and air in less stupidly expensive housing outside the city. During the same period, house prices rose by 37 percent in London but only 16 percent in the UK as a whole.

There are all sorts of massive problems here, of course. Communities and families are being split up, and people doing lower-paid but desperately needed jobs are being pushed out. The new research is just one more piece of the troubling housing jigsaw in front of Sadiq Khan. Let’s hope it gets solved before everywhere within the M25 goes full Kensington.

‘It’s time to reclaim the word “affordable”’: read writer Vicky Spratt on London's insane housing market.

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