Property in Midlands outperforming London in 2018

Land Registry data for 2018 shows an increase in house prices in the Midlands, while prices in London and the surrounding areas fall.

Thatched period cottage in Leicester

According to Land Registry data from August 2018, sold house prices in the East Midlands have gone up on average by 1.5%, while in London and the South East, there has been a fall in property values of up to 0.5%.

Some areas of the East Midlands, such as Leicester, have performed particularly well seeing gains of around 7%.

The Office for National Statistics reported in August that London was the only region in the UK where prices had fallen on an annual basis. 


Is this about Brexit?

Brexit uncertainty has led many people to put the decision to buy property on hold.

According to the Bank of England August Inflation Report 2018, the slowing growth of the London property market is at least partially down to ‘wider

Brexit uncertainty.’ A lack of confidence over the UK’s financial future seems to be hampering property sales in London and the commuter belt.

Conversely, in regions across the UK where the job market hinges less on the outcome of Brexit and more on the local economy, house prices remain far more stable. 

Our messy divorce from the EU is not the whole story, however.

Home owners want more for their money

The reality is that increasing numbers of home owners in the capital are selling up and moving north in the hope of finding somewhere both bigger and more affordable.

In 2018 to date, 25% of properties soled in East Dorset were sold to Londoners leaving the Capital.  Leicester is a similar case with 10% of homes being sold to London leavers. 

Following a prolonged period of price rises in London, those who own properties there can maximise their investment by selling up and finding a better property for less. The difference in house prices is certainly stark:

  • With an average house price of £486,304 in the summer of 2018, London was easily the most expensive place to buy in the UK. 
  • In the East Midlands, the average home cost £194,718 in August 2018.  For the price of a 1 bed flat in North London, a buyer could afford a 4 bed house with a decent garden in Leicester.
  • Buying a large home in London will cost thousands more in stamp duty than the equivalent further north.

This could be why an increasing number of people are moving out of the capital. According to the Office for National Statistics: 

  • London leavers are on the up. From June 2016 to June 2017, the number of people leaving London to live elsewhere in the UK reached 106,607. 
  • Of those who moved within England, Birmingham was the most popular place to relocate to.

The Midlands is appealingly accessible

With its central location, the Midlands region is in reasonable proximity to all major cities in the country, and will only become more connected in the future. When the High-Speed Railway (HS2) launches in 2026, Birmingham to London will take just 49 minutes, for example. 

With the opportunity to find a large house with better parking and outdoor space for the price of a flat in London, it’s no wonder some are choosing to head out of the capital.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert