London has been the most sought-after location for property investors for many years, which is no surprise considering it is the epicentre of opportunity, diversity and culture.
However, in the last few years it would seem that London is yesterday’s news for many investors and homeowners as the Home Counties have seen a lot more attention and are becoming more and more in-demand.
The Climb of the Home Counties
Thanks to the spiralling property prices in London, there is more demand for accommodation in the Home Counties. It is now a common thing for Londoners and property hunters to look outside of the city and find somewhere with excellent transport connections into London and a more reasonable price tag. Because of this, housing planning application authorisations have seen an estimated rise of approximately 11.3% throughout 2016. Studies carried out by Savills have discovered that ‘the next wave of house price rises will come due to increased demand, and the majority are in the ever-expanding outer-commuter belt.’ Homes in London’s surrounding suburbs have become so popular over the last 10 years, it has even been said properties within close proximity of a station with convenient train times into London have seen an average price increase of 58%.
Over recent years it has been revealed that approximately 30% of those moving to the Home Counties are made up of ex-Londoners. Property Gent has affirmed: ‘Commuters are willing to travel longer distances in order to purchase a property. Property developers want to match the growing demand for less expensive housing in the Home Counties, which is often available at lower prices than in London.’
With Crossrail on the horizon, Essex is a prime choice for investors and property hunters alike. Once Crossrail is in full operation in 2021, passengers travelling from and Shenfield station will be able to reach the centre of London without having to change for the Underground at Liverpool Street. In addition to the County’s unrivalled transport links into the heart of the capital, Homes and Property has remarked: ‘Essex has two key elements that are catnip to parents: grammar schools and lovely countryside.’
A little further afield in , the property market is looking extremely promising as residents are flocking the area to escape soaring city prices. In fact, it has been recorded that over 14,000 people have commuted between Chelmsford and London by train over the course of 2016, making this London suburb one of the most occupied non-terminus station’s outside of the city. As well as boasting the busiest railway station in Essex, property prices in Chelmsford are also on the rise which is attracting many buyers and investors from London. It has been estimated that house prices in the area have seen an increase of over 7% over the past year and this figure is anticipated to grow even more in the near future.
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Surrounded by the quintessentially English countryside and full of British history, has timeless appeal for buyers looking for property outside of the capital. Now seems to be the prime time for Hertfordshire’s property market according to local estate agent Open Estates: ‘With the quiet of the summer holidays over and the dust settling after the Brexit vote, we are seeing an increase in interest from buyers at all levels. This, coupled with interest rates at record lows, means now could be the best time to look for your perfect home this year.’
The combination of luscious countryside and exceptional transport links into London is what gives Hertfordshire its unique appeal for those looking to climb the property ladder. Recent research has shown that the demand to live in Hertfordshire has increased so much, that property prices have soared by 12% over the past year and are due to continue to rise by a further 25% over the next few years.
One of the County’s most up-and-coming areas is , one of Hertfordshire’s most historic and charming settlements perfect for families, city commuters and investors. Research has suggested that commuters are keen to move and live away from the city as they can save approximately £150,000 on the price of a property. With London Euston accessible from Kings Langley station in just 27 minutes, it is a prime choice for house hunters looking in London’s suburbs.
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Rickmansworth is another viable location in Hertfordshire, for this reason is another converted development in the area worth viewing. Sitting adjacent to the town’s high street, residents will be on the doorstep of a number of local stores, restaurants, cafes and public houses, whilst Intu Watford will be a mere 15 minute drive away for even more entertainment and shopping options. From Rickmansworth’s mainline station, commuters can reach Marylebone within 30 minutes, whilst the Tube station offers Metropolitan line services to Baker Street station in less than 40 minutes.
Offering an increasing number of employment opportunities, excellent universities and superb transport connections into London, Berkshire is one to keep your eyes peeled for if you are looking to make an exceptional investment; West Berkshire in particular is where property prices are climbing higher than the rest of the County.
The highly-anticipated arrival of Crossrail in 2021 in Berkshire’s towns of Reading and has made their popularity amongst first-time buyers, investors and those simply moving to escape London prices considerably increase over the past few years. However, out of these two Berkshire locations, the prize for the most impressive property price rise, undoubtedly, goes to Slough. In fact, Slough boasts the largest and fastest price rise in not only the County, but in the country. Slough’s reign as the leading area in London’s Home Counties is not due to end anytime soon, as JLL estimate that by the year 2020 property prices in the area will grow by a further 45%.
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Bedfordshire is estimated to outstrip other Home Counties due to various regeneration schemes and climbing property prices. What House has commented: ‘If you’re looking to escape London and want more brick for your ‘buck’, the popular market town of Bedford is a great option. Not only has it recently been heralded as the third most popular property hotspot by eMoov, prices there have been steadily rising in recent years, making it an ideal time to invest in a new home and grow your equity.’
is one of the most in demand towns in the County and is speculated to see an increase of 41% in residential costs by 2020. A lot of research has been carried out by eMoov in order to evaluate the best locations to live and invest and this research has shown that house prices in the County will rise to an impressive £470,979 by 2030.
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Sussex is the top choice for many looking to move outwards into London’s commuter towns, in particular new families and young professionals. Estate and Lettings agency Taylor Robinson say: ‘West Sussex is a good option for young families, with plenty of reliable schools and good areas to grow up in.’
, located in West Sussex, is unquestionably deemed as one of the most in-demand commuter hotspots as it offers the best of both worlds. Being just a 44-minute journey away from the city, young professionals would benefit from a convenient commute to and from work, while the easy access to some of the South East’s most prized countryside will be perfect for families, as well as those who just want to escape the stresses of London.
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