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South-West prices boosted by internal migration

The South-West of England has had the largest net gain from internal migration over the past decade contributing to rapid house inflation in the region, reveals research from Halifax.

The research shows over 300,000 more people have moved to the South-West from elsewhere in the UK than have left to live in another region, boosting the region’s population by 6%.

Overall, the South-East was the most popular destination for people to move to with 2.25 million arrivals from elsewhere in the UK between 1996 and 2005.

At the same time, 2.09 million people moved from the South-East to other regions.

As a result, the South-East experienced a net gain from internal migration of 160,000 – little more than half the gain in the South West.

The North-East saw the largest overall population decline between 1996 and 2005 with a 25,000 drop.

All the other regions in the UK, except Scotland, recorded a rise in population over the period with the UK’s total population increasing by more than two million.

Despite a 9,000 fall in its total population, 53,000 more people moved to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK than left to live in other parts of the country over the decade.

This placed Scotland amongst the six regions that saw more people move to it from elsewhere in the UK than left to live in another region.

Whilst London’s total population increased by over 600,000 between 1996 and 2005, almost 2.4 million left the capital to live elsewhere in the UK.

These leavers were outweighed by a combination of 1.6 million people arriving in London from elsewhere in the UK, 900,000 more arriving from overseas than moving overseas, and the number of babies born exceeding the number of deaths in London by 500,000.

Halifax says population changes are an important driver of housing demand.

The significant net gain from internal migration has been a key factor behind the rapid rise in house prices in the South-West over the last 10 years.

The average price in the South-West has increased by 202% during this period a rise that is surpassed in only London and Northern Ireland.

London’s substantial increase in overall population, particularly due to its attractiveness amongst international migrants, has been a significant factor behind the 218% rise in average residential property prices in the capital since 1996 – the highest increase for any region.

Tim Crawford, group economist at Halifax, says: “There have been significant population shifts across the UK over the past decade.

The South-West has proved to be a particularly popular area for people to move to from elsewhere in the UK.

The high numbers of people moving to the South-West have been a key factor contributing to the rapid rise in house prices in the region during the last 10 years.”


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