20th November 2015
Property in London’s commuter belt has seen prices soar and there are some areas that are expected to rise further.
With property in London at an all-time high and the average flat costing £400,000 – almost 50% more than the average UK house price of £286,000, it’s no surprise that the commuter belt is becoming more expensive.
Over the next five years, eMoov.co.uk expects the value of property just outside the capital to grow and has picked four areas where demand is high but you can still purchase affordable property.
It said the high demand for these new commuter hotspots is testament to the mass migration of London property buyers moving to the Home Counties. With the potential to buy a house for the same price as a London flat and a commute to the capital within an hour, the commuter belt is becoming increasingly appealing.
Where should you buy?
One of the most rapidly expanding towns is Oxfordshire, Bicester is undergoing extensive redevelopment, including modernisation of the tow centre and expansion of the two railway stations.
It has also been marked as the next garden city and is already popular for its shopping village.
In the last six months property values have jumped by over £12, and this could continue with the development of the area. A three-bed family home on the sought-after Kingsmere development starts at £315,000.
Average house price: £312,460
Average detached house price: £424,836
Commute to London Marylebone: 46 minutes
Season travel card: £3,500
Property price change in the last five years: +21% (£79,445)
This town has been designated an area of major growth and has benefited from substantial regeneration over the last eight years, with plans to build 200 homes a year, up until 2026. There are also confirmed plans to double the size of the Orchard Centre, Didcot’s retail area.
The train station is also benefiting from regeneration.
Over the last decade property values in the area have increased by £90,000 and by £18,000 in the last year alone.
Average house price: £293,625
Average price paid for a detached house: £418,725
Commute time into London Paddington: 40 minutes
Season travel card: £3,996
Price change in the last 5 years: +27% (£70,000)
Maidstone in Kent offers links to a number of London station. It is one of the top five hubs for retail in the South East, with developments such as the Mall Maidstone and the Lockemeadow Centre providing a wealth of options for shoppers. It also has a thriving nightlife worth £75 million a year.
It is one of the cheapest season travel card into London and the cheapest average house price, despite enjoying rises of £20,000 in the past year.
Average house price: £266,994
Average price paid for a detached house: £423,198
Commute time into St Pancras: 52 minutes
Season travel card: £3,160
Price change in the last 5 years: +24% (£93,517)
Bishop’s Stortforfd in Hertfordshire has a direct route into Liverpool Street. The town centre has been re-built, including new riverside apartments and a new shopping complex.
It’s proximity to Stanstead Airport means further development will take place.
The average property price in the area is higher than the UK average but a steal compared to the capital.
Average house price: £378,024
Average price paid for a detached house: £562,357
Commute time into London Liverpool Street: 52 minutes
Season travel card: £3,232
Price change in the last 5 years: +25% (£121,986)
Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, said: ‘It’s understandable that for the younger generations in particular, the hustle and bustle of the city is an attractive proposition, however the price paid as a result is often an extortionate level of rent.
‘Those approaching the next stage of their lives, anxious to get a proper foothold on the UK property ladder, aren’t looking to invest in a family flat, they want a house. London is no longer an attractive proposition, even for those looking for a flat and it hasn’t been for some time now.’
He added that buyers need to ‘make that call, remain in London or increase your commute and secure a property you can build a concrete foundation with’.
The commuter cities provide ‘realistic alternatives’ to living in London and Quirk said ‘we believe prices in these areas will increase dramatically over the next decade or so’.
‘It’s these places that are allowing UK buyers to have the quality of life they desire, without having to sacrifice the career prospects on offer in the capital.’