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    Post-Referendum Trends: European Movers Bypassing the UK

    By The reallymoving Team Updated 5th Apr, 2024

    Movers from the EU to the UK have fallen drastically since the referendum back in 2016. 

    • Clear drop in intent to move to UK from EU since June 2016 referendum
    • EU movers accounted for 23% of all moves to UK in March 2019, down from 42% in June 2016
    • EU movers are increasingly seeking moves within to other EU countries or to the rest of the world
    • The UK now receives just 22% of EU home movers, a third of share received in June 2016 (66%)
    14 May 2019: The UK has fallen sharply out of favour with home movers from the European Union since the EU referendum, receiving just 22% of all home movers leaving the EU in March 2019 compared to two thirds (66%) in June 2016, according to new research by reallymoving.

    Analysis of over 100,000 international removals quotes by reallymoving demonstrates a clear drop in intent to move to the UK from the EU since June 2016 and notable increases in moves within the EU (excluding the UK) and from the EU to the rest of the world.

    While the proportion of all inward moves to the UK which are coming from the EU has fallen significantly, from 42% in June 2016 to 23% in March 2019, moves within the EU have increased from 18% to 28% and moves from the EU to the rest of the world have increased from 16% to 49% over the same period (see Graph 1).

    There has also been a decline in the share of moves to the UK from other European countries outside of the EU, from 9% in June 2016 to 2% in March 2019 (see Graph 2).

    Immediately following the referendum there was a brief spike in interest in moving from the EU to the UK, which could be attributed to ex-pat retirees considering returning home amid uncertainty over their rights, pensions and healthcare, as well as UK nationals living and working in the EU anticipating an end to the free movement of people.

    However, this spike was short lived and interest in moving to the UK plummeted after September 2016 and has since continued a steady downward trend.
    Rob Houghton, CEO of reallymoving, says:
    “The Withdrawal Agreement, as it stands, would bring the free movement of people to an end, making it more difficult and expensive for EU workers to come to the UK. This has clearly had a significant impact on the decisions people have made about where to settle over the last almost three years, dramatically reducing the flow of people from the continent into the UK.
    “Uncertainty over our jobs market and the rights of EU workers in the UK, as well as British citizens in Europe, is encouraging EU residents to look for opportunities elsewhere, in countries where they can settle without the risk of upheaval in the near future.
    “Meanwhile, movers from the rest of the world now account for three quarters of all moves to the UK.”

    Graph 1: Where are EU movers going? Proportion of moves from EU countries to UK/EU/Rest of World (reallymoving)


    Graph 2:  Where are movers to the UK coming from? Proportion of moves to UK from EU/Non-EU European countries /Rest of World (reallymoving)


    -- ENDS --
    Notes to Editors
    This research is based on data from 115,388 estimates for international removals on reallymoving between January 2015 and March 2019.

    About reallymoving

    Launched in 1999 and celebrating its 20th birthday this year, reallymoving has become the UK's leading provider of free instant quotes for home-moving services, serving its 2 millionth customer at the beginning of 2018. It is an independent and privately financed company, majority owned by its management and Directors.

    During 2018 reallymoving received 270,000 registrations and generated 990,000 quotes on behalf of its UK-wide network of partners, representing approximately £200 million worth of work in 12 months. reallymoving.com believes approximately 8% of the UK’s home movers in 2018 received quotes from the site.

    reallymoving provides instant quotes for Conveyancing, Surveys, Removals, Home Reports (in Scotland) and Energy Performance Certificates.


    For press information please contact: Sarah Lawrence  [email protected] 07984 422 461

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