Posts with tag: London commuter towns

Property prices in London commuter belt fall

Published On: August 29, 2017 at 11:27 am


Categories: Property News

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Commuter towns in proximity to London are seeing more properties being reduced in price than anywhere else in the UK, according to new research.

Data released by online estate agent House Simple shows that some 33.5% of properties for sale in major towns and cities have been cut in price since they first appeared on the market. One in seven locations have seen 40% or more properties cut in price.

Price Falls

The research from the online agents looked at the number of properties that have seen reductions in price since they were first advertised. The percentage was then compared between February 2017 and August 2017.

In the top ten towns or cities with the greatest percentage growth in cut-priced properties, all are within an hour of central London by train. Reading leads the way with 44% of properties currently for sale here falling in price since they were first advertised.

This is in comparison to 22.8% of properties on the market during February 2017 that saw a price reduction. The percentage of price cut properties here has nearly doubled in six months.

In Basingstoke, 50 minutes by train to Waterloo, some 35.6% of properties currently for sale have been cut in price since they were first marketed. This is in comparison to 19.1% when the research was carried out in February – a rise of 16.5%.

North/South Divide 

The analysis reveals a clear North/South divide in terms of cities and towns where there is a growing percentage of price reductions by agents. 11 out of the 20 largest increases occurred in the South or South East.

14 of the 20 towns or cities where the percentage of price reductions has fallen when comparing August to February are in the North or in Scotland.

Across the UK, 18 of the towns or cities covered by the report have 40% or more properties for sale that have slipped in price, in comparison to 8 in February.

In Darlington, 47% of homes currently marketed have dropped in price.

falling real estate prices - conceptual symbol with green arrow

Property prices in London commuter belt fall

Taking Advantage

Alex Gosling, Chief Executive Officer of HouseSimple, noted: ‘The London commuter belt has seen a property price boom over the past decade, as Londoners priced out of the capital’s property market have moved further out to take advantage of cheaper stock and excellent local amenities including highly rated state schools.’

‘As a result, the gap between property prices in many of the commuter towns and prices in central London has narrowed. Anyone looking in some of the most popular commuter towns, 30 minutes from London, may now find that properties aren’t any more affordable. That is putting pressure on local property markets, as buyers may be starting to look further afield for value for money.

For anyone selling a property, have the lowest price you’re willing to take in the back of your mind, and be prepared to negotiate if a strong buyer, someone with finance in place who can move quickly to exchange, makes an offer. Sometimes holding out for an offer that might be a few thousand pounds more, could result in your property sitting on the market for months.’[1]





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.


Property Growth in East Sussex Commuter Towns

Published On: August 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm


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Most who consider East Sussex a property hotspot are thinking about the potential of Brighton & Hove. But although the city is popular with former Londoners, it is not the only option for great property opportunity.

Research by estate agent Knight Frank on the 13 towns in East Sussex reveals that since the lows of the recession in 2008, Lewes has experienced the best recovery, with average prices rising to 29% above the peak, at £348,000.

In Brighton, prices are now 19% higher than in 2008, at £285,919.

Lewes has many independent shops, cafes and restaurants, and although historic, it still thrives.

Within the South Downs National Park, Lewes is just ten miles from the coast and attracts buyers from London and Brighton searching for relatively affordable family homes.

Property Growth in East Sussex Commuter Towns

Property Growth in East Sussex Commuter Towns

The town has several primary schools rated good by Ofsted, with Newick C Of E receiving an outstanding report. Both Chailey School and Priory School secondary institutions are rated good.

Peak time trains take just over an hour to Victoria with an annual season ticket costing £4,068.

The priciest place to buy is the Wallands, northwest of the town centre, where a four-bedroom Edwardian home costs £1.2m.

The medium-priced property market has recovered well in Lewes, but the strongest price growth in East Sussex has been in the villages of Mayfield and Five Ashes.

Prices have increased by 13.4% in the last year to hit an average of £431,007. Annual price growth in Brighton was 10.6% over the past 12 months.

Although Mayfield doesn’t have a train station, its high street is unspoilt with good independent shops and pubs.

A sales negotiator at Savills estate agent, Charlotte Melrose-Cantouris, comments: “It is one of the prettiest villages around. It has got everything you need.”1

The village has a mix of property styles, including a solid Victorian stock. A three-bed semi-detached house costs between £450,000-£500,000 and expect to pay up to £1.3m for a six-bed detached Victorian property.

Mayfield and Five Ashes have primary schools rated good by Ofsted.

The nearest railway station is five miles away in Crowborough. Trains from here take 70 minutes to either London Bridge or Victoria and an annual season ticket is £3,740.

Alternatively, residents can drive ten miles to Tunbridge Wells in Kent and get a direct train to Waterloo or Charing Cross, taking from 51 minutes. An annual season ticket from here costs £5,020.

If a longer commute is not an issue, Rye is a perfect choice as it sits on the seafront.

House prices in the historic town have risen by 11% to an average of £268,639.

Rye’s cobbled streets, medieval buildings and antique shops attract the locals and Winchelsea Beach is close by.

Sales Manager at Phillips & Stubbs estate agent, Jason Stubbs, estimates that one in four buyers in Rye are Londoners.

A four-bed terrace in the area costs between £500,000-£600,000 and a two-bed cottage is priced around £300,000-£400,000.

The 90-minute commute to St Pancras involves a connecting service from Rye to Ashford International and an annual season ticket costs a huge £6,748.

Next year, the Government will consider plans to extend the High Speed 1 line to Hastings, which will reduce travel times from Rye to London.


The 10 Happiest and Most Affordable Commuter Towns

Published On: August 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm


Categories: Landlord News

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Those living in London are more likely to have little money and be unhappy than residents in other parts of the country. With high house prices and small spaces, Londoners are not the most content with their living conditions.

But if your job is in the capital, finding a good commuter town can be the perfect alternative.

The Telegraph and Hamptons International have analysed data on travel time to London, property prices, average wages and life satisfaction ratings to uncover the ten happiest and most affordable commuter towns.

Here is the countdown, starting at number ten…


Town Commute time Average house price (two-bed property) Average salary

Life satisfaction rating

10 Basingstoke 50 minutes £202,000 £39,459 7.5
9 Tunbridge Wells 55 minutes £232,000 £44,032 7.6
8 Maidstone 57 minutes £181,000 £35,448 7.6
7 Aylesbury 1 hour £199,000 £35,448 7.6
6 Chelmsford 35 minutes £208,000 £42,963 7.6
5 Ashford 40 minutes £172,000 £32,424 7.6
4 North Hertfordshire 45 minutes £219,000 £41,829 7.6
3 East Cambridgeshire 1 hour 10 minutes £173,000 £43,434 7.6
2 Hertsmere 38 minutes £287,000 £45,913 7.7
1 Test Valley 1 hour 11 minutes £191,000 £36,219 7.8

At number ten is Basingstoke, a town in Hampshire where trains to London Waterloo take just 50 minutes.

The 10 Happiest and Most Affordable Commuter Towns

The 10 Happiest and Most Affordable Commuter Towns

If you’re looking for higher wages, then Tunbridge Wells has some of the highest on the list, at just 35 miles from central London.

Trains from Maidstone East take commuters to London Victoria in under an hour.

If you don’t mind spending an hour on the train, then look to Aylesbury, where the average two-bed property costs under £200,000.

The shortest commute on the list is in the Essex town of Chelmsford, with trains reaching Liverpool Street in only 35 minutes.

Although Ashford in Kent is 60 miles from central London, the high-speed rail link gets you to St Pancras in just 40 minutes. But beware of the £6,000 per year season ticket!

A historical Hertfordshire market town, Hitchin has all the appeal of the countryside, but trains take you to central London in 45 minutes.

The rural atmosphere can still be felt in Ely, Cambridgeshire, despite a journey to London taking just over an hour.

Hertsmere has high satisfaction levels and is a short 38 minutes from central London.

But Test Valley in Hampshire is the best option for affordability and happiness, with an average life satisfaction rating of 7.8

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.


Top 20 London Commuter Hotspots

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


Categories: Landlord News

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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.