So-called ‘London leavers’ are fleeing the capital to live outside in commuter areas – a trend noticed by a leading storage firm.

Store & Secure, which has large facilities in Basingstoke and Bournemouth, said those on the move had been buying up storage space, boosting business.

Lucy Maidman, who runs the family firm with sister Sophie, said the pandemic had accelerated an existing trend.

With working from home now an option, and house prices in London so high, many are relocating.

Those places outside London but with good access into it are a particular favourite of the leavers.

Research from Hamptons revealed that Londoners last year spent £54.9 billion on homes outside the capital in 2021 — a record amount.

Those selling a home to move out of London accounted for 57 per cent of leavers, with 76 per cent buying in the south of England.

Lucy said: “Since the housing market opened up after the first wave of Covid we have seen movers take lots of storage.

“Many more than before are from London and are either buying a new home to live in, or a second home to flee to should Covid or another virus hit the capital.

“We have noticed the trend at our Bournemouth facility but it is more pronounced in Basingstoke.

“There is a regular turnover at our facilities of those storing their furniture and possessions until house sales go through.

“It is good for us but I am sure it is also likely to push up house prices which will concern those trying to get a foot onto the property ladder.

“Our business is something of an indicator of trends and another we have noticed since the pandemic is the number of small businesses starting up.

“We provide storage for online sales businesses and serviced offices for small enterprises.

“It will be interesting to see how long this trend lasts for and whether post-Covid people will start moving back to London.”

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