34.3 miles – The average distance people go to escape living in Bedford


“How far do Bedford people go to move to a new house?” This was an intriguing question asked by one of my clients the other week. Readers of my property blog will know I love a challenge, especially when it comes to talking about the Bedford Property Market!

 For the majority, the response is not very far. It is much more common for homeowners and tenants in Great Britain to move across town than to the next town or county. Until now, it’s been hard to say how many homeowners and tenants moved from (and to) relatively far away to buy or rent their new home. However, I carried out some research and requested some statistics from the Royal Mail. What came back was fascinating!

Using statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 478 households moved out of Bedford (MK40), moving an average distance of 34.33 miles – the equivalent of moving from Bedford to Watford (as the crow flies).  The greatest distance travelled was 312 miles – that’s 12 marathons (when someone moved to Clough in Northern Ireland).

Considering there were 489 property sales in MK40 in the year and countless tenant moves, the numbers seems consistent – once you find a town you like, you tend to want to settle down and if you do move, you might only move to a different neighbour-hood, or for better transport links or, to be closer to the school you want to get your children into, but the likelihood is you won’t travel far.

I then turned my attention to people moving into Bedford. Using the same statistics for the 12 months up to the middle of Autumn 2016, 440 households moved into Bedford (MK40), moving an average distance of 30.61 miles – the equivalent of moving from Peterborough to Bedford (again as the crow flies). The greatest distance travelled was 301 miles – that’s more than 11.5 marathons (when someone moved from Glasgow to Bedford).

So, what does all this mean for the landlords and homeowners of Bedford?

When an agent markets a property for rent or let, it is vital to know the tenant or property buyer well, that the properties they are letting/selling fit those tenants/buyers, so they almost sell themselves. These days that means not only knowing how many bedrooms, reception rooms etc., a property offers but the budget buyers and tenants want to spend on a property in that area as well as where they come from.

The estate and lettings industry loves the mantra “location, location, location”. I say it might be helpful to factor in where (and how) far people are moving from, so the property can be sold or let more easily. Many say knowledge is power and whilst I do enjoy writing my blog on the Bedford property market, I also use the information to help my clients buy, let and sell well. So for example, the information gained for this article, will enable my team and I to be more efficient in where to direct our marketing resources to ensure we maximise our clients’ properties sale-ability or rent-ability.