Skip to main content
Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Residential trajectories of high-skilled transnational migrants in a global city: Exploring the housing choices of Russian and Italian professionals in London


This paper explores the residential trajectories of highly skilled transnational migrants in London. It analyses this under-researched topic by drawing on interview data with 32 mostly Italian and Russian migrants. The paper unveils the motivations of migrant housing preferences and residential behaviour across three interlinked stages: (i) housing expectations and initial housing choices, (ii) residential mobility over the migration period, (iii) future residential and migration plans. Two exogenous factors are brought into the analysis: the high prices in the London housing market, and the potential impact of Brexit on future residential plans. Findings suggest that Italians build multi-stage housing careers with many moves during their stay, yet geared to an upward housing trajectory, whilst the Russians demand high-quality housing from the start, are less inclined to multi-occupancy, and move less often. Part of the explanation for the difference lies in different `housing cultures' brought from the country of origin.




Russell King (United Kingdom)

Article meta

Country / region covered

Populations studied

Year of Publication

Source type