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Resort property agent says Londoners fleeing foreign influx

IN DEMAND: Adrian Dunford claims Londoners are flocking to Poole to escape foreigners (PA)

A LOCAL newspaper on the south coast of England has alleged that an “influx of foreigners” is pushing Londoners out of the capital.

The racially charged explanation was given on record to Dorset’s Daily Echo by Poole estate agent Adrian Dunford, who said many of the his clients from the capital “feel London isn’t the place it once was.”

Dunford, working for Sandbanks-based company Tailor Made, told the local paper: “What we’re seeing is people moving out of London because they feel in the minority.

“They’re moving from places like Belgravia because they feel surrounded.”

Controversially, and unchallenged by the newspaper itself, he said the attraction of his local market was due to the type of nationalities that are not seeking homes in the area.

“Who’s not coming here are Arabs, Russians and Chinese,” Dunford said.

“That hasn’t really changed.”

The estate agent, whose firm, according to the paper, sold £50m of property in 2012, described the non-foreign customer he usually encounters.

“Our typical clients are people that have made some money and are looking to retire”, he added.

“They either have a second home here and are moving abroad or are going to have their main UK property here and buy another in France or another country.”

The dynamic of ethnically white people moving out of London to other parts of the country was labelled as “white flight” in some quarters after the figures of the 2011 census were published.

EXCLUSIVE WATERSIDE: Houses along the Sandbanks peninsula in Poole, Dorset (PA)

The phenomenon – which caused Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to claim the UK was “sleepwalking into segregation” – reportedly saw a significant drop of white British people living in London.

Think-tank Demos said the 10-year difference between the 2001 and 2011 census data showed white British Londoners fall from nearly 60 per cent to under 50 per cent, and it claimed it was caused by a “white retreat”.

Writing on the organisation’s official website, Eric Kaufmann said “Between 2001 and 2011, the proportion of white British in London's population fell from 58 to 45 per cent.

“The share of ethnic minorities reached 40 per cent of the total, a 39 per cent increase.”

However, in contrast to Dunford, Kaufmann acknowledged other factors may explain the decrease.

“While white avoidance of ethnic minorities is the first thought that comes to mind, it's important to consider the alternative explanations”, the Demos associate added.

“Whites may be leaving for better schools, cheaper homes, fresher air, or because they are more likely to be retirees, wealthier or better educated.

“Only a statistical approach which controls for these factors can tell us whether ethnic preferences are key.”

Jonathan Portes, of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), countered the premise of “white flight”, saying census data did not in fact prove it.

Writing on the NIESR’s official website, he said: “There really doesn't seem to be anything in the aggregate data to support the view that there has been a substantial rise in white people (or people in general) moving out of London, let alone that they are "fleeing" from non-whites (or non-Brits).”

Portes added: “This doesn't mean "white flight" doesn't exist, or that we shouldn't worry about segregation at a local level.

“But it's very difficult to believe that it's anything like the main driver of London demographics.”

To support Dunford’s ethnic-centric explanation, the Daily Echo only cited “recent figures” that show “out of 7,000 new homes built in what is known as prime central London... more than 5,000 went to overseas buyers.”

ROYALLY DIVERSE: Prince Charles meets locals in south London's Brixton Market (PA)

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