Best Commuter Towns for London
At some point, almost all Londoners will have played the game of fantasy house-swapping, researching the fabulous country piles that their basic Hackney flat would buy them, if only they were willing to move out of the city. The same goes for renters, you could swap your GBP1,250 a month flat share in London for an GBP870 house in the South East, within commuting distance! So if you're tempted to make the move and grab your own little slice of the country, here's a guide to the best towns to rent in, within commuting distance of London.
Bordering Thurrock, the River Thames and the Borough of Bexley, the close proximity to central London makes Dartford a very attractive choice for commuters. There are six major railway stations in the borough, and three of those run major lines straight into London. There are also high-speed rail services running to Paris and to Brussels on a daily basis since the opening of Ebbsfleet International in 2007, and this also means quick access to St Pancras International; there are also great road links via the M25 and M20. Currently around 17.7% of Dartford's community are regular commuters, with the average house price in the region of GBP213,959, and an average monthly rent of GBP850 per calendar month.
Just 20 miles north-east of Charing Cross and a stone's throw from the M25, Brentwood is a long-standing commuter town, but it's becoming increasingly popular among a younger set of professionals who are tired of the sky-high rents of the capital. To match this, the suburban town area is growing fast, with over GBP3 million worth of on-going renovations currently taking place. The town's famous high street is offset by green space, with lots of trees, parks and fields giving the suburban space a rural edge and creating a nice balance between convenience and countryside. It's also just a 40-minute drive to Stanstead Airport if you need to regularly travel overseas for business. Average house prices are a little higher here though at GBP341,059 to buy and GBP900-GBP1000 to rent, reflecting the bigger proportion of commuters – which sits at roughly 25%.
If you're looking for a location with a little bit more of a family vibe, Peterborough offers a fast commute to London that hasn't been overexploited yet, excellent grammar schools and picturesque stone villages and towns nearby to visit at the weekends. It's linked directly to Kings Cross, and at peak times it takes less than an hour to get there. There's been an economic boom in recent years, but house prices are still lovely and low – the average is GBP183,588 to buy and only GBP700 to rent!
MONEY & COSTS