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Four in 10 Londoners Consider Leaving Over Costs, Poll Finds

Four in 10 Londoners say they’ve considered relocating because of the high cost of living in the capital, a survey showed.

The number was highest among those age 18 to 34, with almost half saying they’d considered moving, according to the ComRes Ltd. poll of 1,019 London residents, commissioned by ITV. Only 13 percent of people aged over 65 said they’d thought of leaving, while 47 percent of central London residents considered moving on cost grounds.

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced the creation of a new garden city in the southeast at Ebbsfleet, 19 minutes by train from the capital, and the extension of his Help-to-Buy plan to address a housing shortage that has contributed to driving prices beyond the means of most first-time buyers. London has led a U.K. property boom in recent months, and a report by Rightmove Plc today showed asking prices surged to a record this month.

Three in 10 respondents think property purchases by wealthy foreigners are mostly responsible for the cost of housing in London, while 23 percent blame high rates of immigration, the survey found.

Residents of the capital were divided as to the best means of addressing the shortage of homes, with 41 percent saying building more is the best solution and 39 percent that developing commuter towns is preferable.

ComRes conducted the survey online between March 10 and March 16.

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