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Inverness is the UK’s most popular destination for relocation

publication date: May 19, 2010
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Research from the property website reallymoving.com reveals that urban areas – particularly those around London – are out of favour with UK home movers who are instead upping sticks to "dynamic and desirable" provincial centres.

In its latest Quarterly Migration Monitor, – a regular analysis of migration patterns across the UK – the west London conurbation Uxbridge is identified as the least popular destination. And the average distance covered by a removal van in the UK is 70.26 miles – equivalent to the distance between London and Folkestone.

Norfolk,Suffolk and the West Country are more affordable since the UK’s property market crash, accounting for the popularity of areas like Ipswich, Norwich, Bournemouth and Torquay. The data is based on responses from a 33,425 people who registered for information about home-buying services such as conveyancing, in the first quarter of this year.

Reallymoving.com director, Rosemary Rogers, said people living around London had seen the economic downturn as an opportunity to escape the rat-race. "The data shows people viewed the early stages of the recovery as an ideal time to buy into desirable but previously unaffordable towns."

Inverness heads the overall league for home movers because of a wealth of hi-tech industries and its transport connections, the data suggests. Truro was the second most popular area.

At the other end of the scale, Uxbridge is the least popular area because it is traditionally home to a high proportion of first-time buyers but struggled through the recession as restricted lending prevented many from entering the market.In another trend, many white collar City-based workers living in the SE and TW postcode areas of south London will have been feeling vulnerable during the recession, and are still fearful about unemployment, rising house prices ad tightening credit conditions. The report said, "These concerns will have led many to leave the fashionable but expensive areas in favour of more affordable commuter towns on the fringes of the M25."

Outside London, topping the list of Most Expensive Areas to live are Windsor & Maidenhead where average property prices are now £393,000 followed by South Gloucestershire (£367,000) and Surrey (£348,000). At the other end of the scale, North East Lincolnshire and Hartlepool lead the list of Britain’s Least Expensive Areas with average house prices of under £120,000.

Nick Leeming, Commercial Director, Zoopla.co.uk said, "As a nation we’re obsessed with property values and our latest Property Rich List once again lifts the lid on the most exclusive places in the country to live. The past 12 months has seen house prices in the leading areas of the country rebound at a far faster rate than the average, contributing to a widening of the North-South divide."