A quarter of a million people are voluntarily giving up the city life in London to shack up in areas where there are good schools and affordable homes, according to the Office of National Statistics.
As a way to determine where these former Londoners are moving, Savills analyzed the number of season ticket sales from the main commuting stations. In the process, they discovered 20 property hotspots which are minutes away from the city and minefields for great property investments around London. Here are the rankings:
|Travel time from London||Average Property Price (2014)||Annual Season Ticket Cost|
|1. Reading||26 mins||£283,724||£4,188|
|2. Brighton||52 mins||£334,934||£4,068|
|3. Chelmsford||35 mins||£261,411||£3,728|
|4. Woking||27 mins||£371,238||£3,052|
|5. Cambridge||52 mins||£395,911||£4,264|
|6. Guildford||37 mins||£408,824||£3,400|
|7. Haywards Heath||44 mins||£313,830||£3,808|
|8 Colchester||52 mins||£198,456||£4,796|
|9. Milton Keynes Central||35 mins||£217,162||£4,888|
|10. Tonbridge||42 mins||£318,166||£3,980|
|11. Winchester||58 mins||£414,851||£4,812|
|12. Sevenoaks||33 mins||£589,203||£3,288|
|13. Basingstoke||44 mins||£234,831||£4,188|
|14. Slough||17 mins||£276,270||£2,472|
|15. Maidenhead||20 mins||£427,999||£2,908|
|16. Tunbridge Wells||50 mins||£329,754||£4,364|
|17. Shenfield||27 mins||£363,244||£2,868|
|18. Oxford||57 mins||£411,601||£4,788|
|19. Redhill||35 mins||£305,891||£2,672|
|20. Bishops Stortford||38 mins||£324,324||£3,936|
Out of all the places mentioned in the list, Maidenhead in Berkshire is the closest from London with 20 minutes travel time, but activity in the town center is kind of slow. That’s why if you’re looking for more life in your neighbourhood, you can also find a property in the surrounding towns of Cookham, Cookham Dean, the “foodie paradise” Bray, or the picturesque town of Marlow.
Real estate agents in Guildford reveal that houses in the area get even more expensive if its located near the station. Richard Howell, sales manager of Hill Clements estate agents, said that a four-bedroom property within walking distance would cost “from just under £1 million to about £1.25 million”.
Although Guildford is labeled as the most expensive suburb in the list, its been a magnet for many for many South-West Londoners for decades because of its busy high street, a variety of good schools, nearby pretty towns, a vast countryside, and close distance from the coast and airports.
Like in Guildford, what draws people into Colchester are good schools in the vicinity- particularly Colchester County High School for girls and the Royal Grammar School for boys. It also boasts of picturesque streets like The Dutch Quarter, located north of the city centre, which has outstanding Tudor timber-framed homes and some with Georgian frontages.
Overall, the list also works perfectly for remote investors like us, since it gives us perfect alternatives to London. The money goes where the people are, and if people are moving away from the city you should follow suit.