By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Tenants quit London as rents make capital unaffordable

The rapid recovery in London rents post-Covid has seen the capital’s tenants leave in record numbers, according to new research from Hamptons. 

Last year 40 per cent of renters moving home in London chose to leave the capital, up from 28 per cent a decade ago.  

This equated to 90,370 households, with the numbers doubling since 2012.  In total just over 718,000 tenants have left over the last decade. 


Some 62 per cent of these were longer-term tenants, having moved into their home at least four years ago.

While homeowners outnumber renters in the capital by nearly two-to-one, tenants tend to move home more often and are much more likely to leave. The 90,370 tenants leaving London last year compares to 62,210 homeowners moving out.  

Hamptons suggests this marks a return to form and a reversal of 2021 when more homeowners than renters left during a single year for the only time during the last decade.

The typical tenant doesn’t tend to move far.  Each of the top 10 local authorities that most tenants move to directly border London. Tandridge topped the list with more than 52 per cent of tenants in the area moving from London.  

However, tenants leaving the capital still tend to move further than homeowners, with 38 per cent heading to the Midlands or the North of England, up from 27 per cent in 2019 and above the 13 per cent of homeowners moving to the same regions.

The pandemic and the subsequent rise of flexible working has meant far fewer London tenants leave the capital for work reasons.  

Just 22 per cent of leavers in 2022 left for work related reasons, down from 32 per cent five years ago.  Leavers increasingly keep their job in the capital while working remotely or commuting back occasionally. Instead, tenants are leaving to make their rent go further and renting larger homes in nicer neighbourhoods.

Leavers disproportionately come from the least affluent corners of the capital.  

Over two-thirds of renters leaving London came from the 50 per cent most deprived areas, a figure which has steadily climbed over the last decade.  Despite trading up to live in a more affluent area, they were still able to move to a home which was 28 per cent cheaper than where they were previously living.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up