The ripple effect is an expression that describes the effect that the London property market has on the rest of the UK. Historically, what happened in London eventually radiated into the rest of England, Scotland and Wales. The areas and counties closest to London are the first to feel the warmth or chill of change. The extremities of the British Isles have traditionally felt the dissipated and weakened ripples somewhat later.
But recently the UK has become more homogeneous and more subject to offshore pressures as globalisation has an increased effect on national economies.
So the ripple effect has a little less significance today than it once did, and London has refined its own market hierarchy through lifestyle and convenience.
In fact London has never been one market. London, which covers 627 square miles, has as many markets as it has towns, villages, postcodes, neighbourhoods, streets, sides of streets and ends of streets. Plus it has prime, super-prime, extra-super-prime and uber prime.
But the movement of buyers and sellers between London and its neighbouring counties continues, not as a ripple but more as an ebb and flow. Young single professionals often start their working lives living in London where they have demanding careers and can be close to their places of work. Later, coupled and looking to start a family, the benefits of an out-of-town life begin to have their attractions. So if there is a ripple it is not so much a commercial one but a human one.
The globalisation of the property market means the live/work balance is today more crucial than ever before, not just for Britons but for the many buyers who have business, lifestyle and diplomatic reasons to move on an international basis.Now that is a ripple effect!