Posts with tag: commuting to London

Property Hotspots on the London to Hastings Route

Published On: September 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm


Categories: Property News

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Commuters travelling away from Charing Cross or Cannon Street can sit back and appreciate the beautiful countryside and charming towns they are going back to at the end of the working day.

These stations serve the London to Hastings line, along which there are six options for those hoping to commute to the capital in under an hour.

Of the six, Tonbridge in Kent has experienced the strongest house price growth in the last 12 months, up 18.8% to an average of £324,373, according to research by Savills.

In second place is the East Sussex village of Frant, where prices increased by 8.7%, and another village, Hildenborough, also in Kent, saw prices rise by 8%.

If you’re looking to invest, rent or buy, here are some places to look out for:


Not to be confused with the more upmarket town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge is a medieval town in Medway, Kent, boasting a theatre, country park, two swimming pools and an athletics club.

A property consultant at Ellis & Co estate agents, Lynne Fermor, comments: “It is a friendly town, and it is really our schools and trains which attract people.”1

Fermor says that six out of ten of her buyers are moving from London.

The commute to the capital takes 42 minutes and an annual season ticket costs £3,980.

Tonbridge’s housing stock is not glamorous, but the south side of the town features Victorian avenues, including Douglas Road and Priory Street, which are tree-lined and close to the station.

Two-bedroom terraced houses cost between £260,000-£270,000 and you can expect to pay £600,000-£1m for a detached property.

The south side of Tonbridge also boasts good grammar schools, with the best being The Judd School, Tonbridge Grammar School and Weald of Kent Grammar School.

Primary schools include St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School and Woodlands Junior School, both rated outstanding by Ofsted.


Frant is just over the Kent border, in East Sussex. The pretty village has three pubs, a general store, a pleasant green and a primary school with a good Ofsted rating.

It is more expensive than Tonbridge, with an average house price of £553,915. Flats cost around £248,650.

The train station is a mile away in Bells Yew Green and the journey to the capital takes an hour, with an annual season ticket costing £4,364.

The village attracts walkers and cyclists, as it is on the edge of the High Weald and close to the National Trust’s Nap Wood.

Tonbridge and Frant have outperformed other areas in the past year, but Sevenoaks has recovered most strongly since the recession.


House prices in Sevenoaks have risen by over 20% from 2007, with the average property now costing £670,815 and flats priced at around £298,747.

The commute to London takes just 33 minutes and an annual season ticket is £4,364. With fast trains and a location on a hilltop in the North Downs, Sevenoaks is an attractive option.

Along with an upmarket high street, Sevenoaks also has quality private and state schools.

Good primary schools include St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School and Lady Boswell’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, both rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Secondary schools rated good by Ofsted include Trinity School and Knole Academy. Additionally, most of the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells grammar schools will accept applications from those living in Sevenoaks.

Green space can be found within Knole Park, where six of the town’s original seven oaks were destroyed by the great storm of 1987. Residents can also get to the south coast within half an hour.

Savills’ David Johnston says that his clients include buyers from southwest London, who claim the journey to the City and Canary Wharf is faster from Sevenoaks.

This has pushed prices of post-war houses up by around 10% in the last year. Streets east of Montreal Park are close to the station and Riverhead Infants School, which is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

These homes now sell for between £1m-£1.5m, but buyers with smaller budgets can find two-bed cottages for around £350,000-£400,000.


Priced Out Londoners Should Move to Wellingborough

Published On: July 29, 2015 at 4:31 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Londoners priced out of the spiralling property market should move to Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, according to Lloyds Bank.

Lloyds has studied commuter towns to determine the most affordable places to buy a home within an hour’s commute of the capital.

Homes in Wellingborough sell for an average £160,245 compared to £722,000 in central London.

On average, those working in London that are happy to commute an hour each way save £450,000 on their house price, found Lloyds, although their annual season ticket costs almost £5,000.

Behind Wellingborough, Lloyds found that Kettering, Peterborough, Chatham, Luton, Basildon and Swindon are the most affordable commuter towns, where average property prices are all under £200,000.

Mario Bartella, owner of an estate agent in Wellingborough that shares his name, says that the town has experienced a significant rise in buyers priced out of London’s housing market, particularly those from North London.

He states: “I’d say three or four out of every ten sales transactions are people who used to live and work in London but now commute into town from here.

“I have got clients who have sold a one-bedroom flat in London, bought a four-bed detached house here and still had money left over.”

Most affordable commuter towns


Town County

Average house price

1 Wellingborough Northamptonshire £160,425
2 Kettering Northamptonshire £177,584
3 Peterborough Cambridgeshire £182,114
4 Chatham Kent £183,140
5 Luton Bedfordshire £186,752
6 Basildon Essex £194,260
7 Swindon Wiltshire £195,212
8 Sittingbourne Kent £202,915
9 Northampton Northamptonshire £206,087
10 Rugby Warwickshire £209,320
Priced Out Londoners Should Move to Wellingborough

Priced Out Londoners Should Move to Wellingborough

Bartella says that London commuters often favour four-bedroom, detached houses on new built estates, located around a mile away from the centre of Wellingborough, where prices range from £225,000-£300,000. He says they usually use bicycles to travel to and from the station.

He adds: “It currently takes 50 minutes by train into St Pancras and it will be even quicker when a new non-stop train service starts next year.”1

For the average £160,245 house price, buyers in Wellingborough can find a three-bed semi-detached house with a garage or a good size Victorian terrace in the town centre. Bartella says they could even buy a small detached home.

Closer to London, house prices rise significantly.

Commuters with a 40-minute train journey into central London – including those living in Reading, Stevenage, Sidcup and Billericay – pay an average property price of £349,000. However, this is still £373,000 or 52% lower than the price of a home in London zones 1 and 2. An annual rail pass costs £3,499.

20 minutes away from the capital, commuters in towns such as Ilford, St Albans and Croydon can find a house that costs almost £321,000 less than in central London.

In some cases, commuters to central London can live in areas with higher average house prices than in the capital.

Those living in Beaconsfield pay an average property price of £921,516, with an annual rail pass of £3,788.

Nearby in Gerrards Cross, buyers pay an average price that is £32,525 higher than central London’s average.

The Lloyds research reveals that in other parts of the country, unlike the norm in London and the South East, commuters to some major cities pay more than if they lived in the city centre.

For those commuting to Britain’s second and third largest cities, Birmingham and Manchester, house prices are often more expensive outside the city.

The average house price in Birmingham is around £162,000. However, some towns with a 40-minute train journey away – including Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Burton upon Trent and Leamington Spa – have a higher average price of about £175,000. Commuters from these towns also pay an average annual rail pass of £1,900.

This is the same for some towns around Manchester, such as Warrington, Chorley, Huddersfield and Macclesfield, which have a higher property price of £168,000 compared to £151,330 in the city centre.


Longer commutes could equal lower costs

Published On: June 15, 2015 at 11:40 am


Categories: Landlord News

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An interesting report from online estate agent e.Moov has suggested that property owners working in London could cut their costs in half, if they are prepared for a longer commute to the capital’s main train stations.

Location to station

The location of a property is proving to be the most important factor for investors. With average price houses in the capital standing at £588,000 however, purchasing property in London means that preferred locations are being sacrificed in favour of affordability.

With a timely commute proving inevitable for many owners, the e.Moov research looks at how investing in more further afield regions can save investors money.

e.moov looked at areas around London’s key train stations, then looked at other regions with roughly double the commute into the capital. Their findings could tempt many to consider increased travel times for the benefit of more money in their pockets.

Kings Cross

Commuters into Kings cross from regions such as Edgware face a commute time of around 33 minutes. Property prices in this area average at £443,772 but commuters willing to travel just under an hour to work may be tempted by homes in Peterborough, where costs are £190,000.


A direct commute from Southampton to Waterloo takes just one hour and ten minutes. Prices in the city average at £248,000 and the region is a popular location for retirees. However, with savings above £300,000 on regions such as South Wimbledon, where a commute to Waterloo still takes 35 mins, doubling the travel time seems a viable money saving option.

Longer commutes could equal lower costs

Longer commutes could equal lower costs


Commuting from the east side of the capital is proving more popular with increase in developments such as the C2C line and a rise in affordable property in places such as Essex. Kent is also proving a popular location in which to invest and an area such as Rochester offers a commute of 51 minutes into London, with property prices averaging at £226,000.

This is in comparison to regions such as Walthamstow, where commutes to Victoria average at 34 minutes. A property in Rochester is £143,650 cheaper than the average price for a home in Walthamstow.

Liverpool Street

A seemingly short hop across the capital from areas such as Shepherds Bush to Liverpool Street can still take 30 minutes. Property prices in Shepherds Bush average at nearly £700,000. However, commuting from places such as Ipswich, despite taking roughly 1 hour to Liverpool Street, can save vast amounts of money in terms of home prices. Property costs in Ipswich average at roughly £220,000, less than a third of the average home in Shepherds Bush.[1]

Changing trends

eMoov’s founder Russell Quirk, suggests, ‘we’ve seen the commuter trend move from the outer London boroughs to surrounding areas outside of the capital. Who’s to say this won’t continue as house prices in these new commuter zones catch up with their new found demand?’[1]

Quirk continued by saying, ‘although an hour’s commute might seem a lot, when you consider the money you save for 25 to 30 extra minutes on the train and how much more you get for your money, it could really make sense.’[1]




Top 20 London Commuter Hotspots

Published On: May 20, 2015 at 3:57 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,,,

Top 20 London Commuter Hotspots

Top 20 London Commuter Hotspots

The amount of Londoners leaving the capital has reached record highs, hitting 250,000 a year according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is believed that most of those departing are hoping for family-sized homes near good schools.

However, those moving are still searching for somewhere not too isolated within a quick commute of the capital.

The high number of people leaving London has been fuelled by the Stamp Duty reform of December 2014. Hometrack recently found that the Home Counties benefitted most from the changes.

Savills estate agent predicts that London’s commuter hotspots will see the highest medium-term price growth in England. It based its findings on the amount of season ticket sales from the main commuting stations. So where is best for London commuters?



Countdown of top 20 London commuter hotspots


Area Travel time to London Average property price Average detached house price Annual season ticket cost

Annual season ticket + travel card cost

20 Bishops Stortford 30 minutes £324,324 £501,020 £3,936 £4,952
19 Redhill 35 minutes £305,891 £553,530 £2,672 £3,432
18 Oxford 57 minutes £411,601 £746,632 £4,788 £5,568
17 Shenfield 27 minutes £363,244 £608,423 £2,868 £3,976
16 Tunbridge Wells 50 minutes £329,754 £633,575 £4,364 £5,020
15 Maidenhead 20 minutes £427,999 £673,633 £2,908 £3,692
14 Slough 17 minutes £276,270 £644,998 £2,472 £3,252
13 Basingstoke 44 minutes £234,831 £360,475 £4,188 £4,944
12 Sevenoaks 33 minutes £589,203 £945,321 £3,288 £3,944
11 Winchester 58 minutes £414,851 £623,740 £4,812 £5,636
10 Tonbridge 42 minutes £318,166 £519,513 £3,980 £4,636
9 Milton Keynes Central 35 minutes £217,162 £333,801 £4,888 £5,812
8 Colchester 52 minutes £198,456 £297,539 £4,796 £5,880
7 Haywards Heath 44 minutes £313,830 £496,040 £3,808 £4,800
6 Guildford 37 minutes £408,824 £760,593 £3,400 £4,204
5 Cambridge 52 minutes £395,911 £676,965 £4,264 £4,648
4 Woking 27 minutes £371,238 £668,269 £3,052 £3,792
3 Chelmsford 35 minutes £261,411 £417,214 £3,728 £4,704
2 Brighton 52 minutes £334,934 £617,940 £4,068 £5,196
1 Reading 26 minutes £283,724 £485,399 £4,188 £4,976

A quarter of the top 20 spots are within half an hour of London, with Reading, Woking and Shenfield benefitting from the Crossrail development.

The closest is Slough, just 17 minutes from the capital.