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Boomerang effect fuels house-price surge as buyers return to London

·2 min read
Thousands of Londoners are thought to have quit cramped flats and houses in search of more space during lockdown (PA Archive)
Thousands of Londoners are thought to have quit cramped flats and houses in search of more space during lockdown (PA Archive)

London’s red-hot property market is being fuelled by “boomerang buyers” who moved to the country during the pandemic but are now flocking back to a resurgent capital, according to agents.

Thousands of Londoners are thought to have quit cramped flats and houses in search of more space during lockdown, sending prices in Home Counties soaring. But the return of commuting three or four days a week, combined with the opening up of theatres and restaurants, has persuaded many to come back.

Others who were considering moving to the provinces are now putting their plans on hold as average home prices in London shot up 5.6 per cent in August to an all-time high of £525,893.

Marc von Grundherr, from agents Benham and Reeves, said: “We’ve seen a lot of movement of people who have had their year and a half out but now say they miss London. People who were working from home are now back in the office three days a week and are looking at the cost and length of the journeys.”

Lucy Pendleton, from London estate agents James Pendleton, said: “Around 85 per cent of those renting through us are returning from outside the capital.

“Many of the renting generation secretly hoped their lockdown lifestyle was what life was going to be like from then on. Now firms are ordering people back to their desks and young professionals realise that if they’re not sat in front of the people who make decisions, the chances of being promoted are diminished.”

Peter Allen, from developer Stanhope, said he was “surprised by the volume of inquiries from Home Counties buyers” for pied à terre apartments at the One Bishopsgate Plaza development just outside the City, where one-beds start at £1.3 million.

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