People house-hunting in London have found prices to be too expensive and are relocating to places such as Bexhill. Henry Nicholls/Reuters

In recent years, the East Sussex town of Bexhill has seen many people from London locate down to the area due to the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will cost interested home buyers £371,000 less to purchase a property in Bexhill compared to England's capital city.

People have moved out from London due to the high cost of properties, as the current valuation of the average house in the city is £706,000, according to Zoopla. Also, semi-detached and terraced homes in the town have average prices of £776,000 and £781,000 respectively.

This substantial cost, which Londoners must fork out to find a home in their city, has led to some residents deciding that relocating makes more sense financially. It can already be expensive for some people to reside in London before housing expenses even cross their minds.

A notable knock-on effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was that organisations implemented hybrid and remote working models for their staff. Workers were deemed unsafe to regularly be in company offices, where they would typically be in close contact with others.

Employees came to be satisfied with residing outside of London despite their work being based there. They would only need to be on-site once or twice a week, or they may not have to go in. The less frequent visits to company offices meant some people were happy to do a lengthy commute from outside of London occasionally.

During the pandemic, Londoners relocated to the South East, and some settled in already sought-after places such as Brighton and Guildford. Outgoing Londoners also pinpointed areas in the South Downs, Chiltern Hills, and High Weald as places to live.

However, houses in these locations would not be affordable to everybody, with the average home in Brighton and Hove costing just over £500,000.

Bexhill was then identified by many as a more affordable place in the South East region to reside. As of last month, the average price of a home in the seaside town was reported to be £335,000.

The influx of Londoners to Bexhill occurred between 2021 and 2022. Rightmove discovered that the number of new houses on the market increased by 88 per cent. The average houses being listed would be sold in 35 days.

Rightmove also found that buyer demand in Bexhill shot up by 35 per cent whilst the cost of properties in the area increased by 13 per cent.

Despite Bexhill experiencing a recent surge in popularity due to newer residents, the town has a reputation for being a place mostly belonging to older people, thus its nickname "God's Waiting Room."

The 2021 census found that around 30 per cent of residents in the Rother District were aged 65 or over, and Bexhill had one of the nation's highest median ages at 54. Older adults made up 45 per cent of the population in the East Sussex town's neighbourhoods, which is far less than the 14 per cent of older people accounting for the more costly area of Brighton.

Two years ago, Director at Burgess and Co Estate Agents, Paul Rendle, touched on the influx of people into Bexhill, saying: "Lots of younger people are looking at new areas along the coast and would perhaps prefer to live here than Brighton. This goes against Bexhill's old reputation."

Rendle also described the benefits of residing in the seaside town: "It has great schools, and you get more for your money as houses come with a bit more elbow room. The family homes are seeing this biggest hike in interest as people want to be near the coast and have an improved quality of life."

He then demonstrated how much better value there is for people when leaving London for Bexhill, mentioning: "We had a person who had sold his one-bedroom flat in Fulham and was able to buy a four-bedroom home in Bexhill for the same money."

Bexhill could eventually shake off its tag of being a town for mainly older people as more younger people and families look set to reside in the area.

With people struggling to cope financially and afford housing in London, more affordable towns outside the city could follow Bexhill in becoming an ideal living spot for new home buyers. This is mainly for those still spending much of their working hours away from company offices.