The seat of government and a world leading financial centre. History, culture and premier universities. Theatreland, museums, major tourist attractions and leading resaurants, clubs and bars. London has it all. Until you put it into lockdown. Now, according to Rightmove, city dwellers are heading back.
London has the largest capital city property price premium of any major European city. You pay more for the priviledge of living in the city centre compared to the suburbs that just about anywhere else.
Staring out of the window of a flat in Knightsbridge is much the same as it is in Hounslow. No surprise, then, when all of the reasons why renters pay that premium are gone and they now work from home, that many chose to move out.
Analysis from Rightmove suggests that the tide is now turning.
Last August, eight of the top ten most searched areas were in Zone 3 or beyond. By contrast, their latest figures show that all of the top ten are in Zones 1 and 2.
The charge is led by Wandsworth and Lambeth, where demand has more than doubled over the same month a year earlier. Not far behind are Southwark and Westminster, up by over 90%.
Last year we identified a clear trend of renters moving out to quieter parts of Greater London as the allure of life in the city centre became less appealing during lockdown.
The appetite for city living seems as strong as ever -
Despite short term uncertainty and some people moving out of London temporarily, the fact is that most young professionals want to be amongst the buzz of the city – it’s the reason they moved here in the first place.