Explore London’s compass points
can’t believe the affordability compared with Oxford, yet within a similar travel time to London,” he says.
The Oxford-Banbury scenario is typical of the disparity in prices that exists between commuting towns in the same region, says Frances Clacy, a research analyst at Savills. She has found the 10 best-value and most expensive commutable areas to live around London’s compass points.
The findings are based on three factors: the cost of an annual season ticket with a London travelcard; the average house prices within 1.2 miles of the nearest station with direct trains to London; and the average deposit required for a mortgage with 75 per cent loan to value.
“Rather than looking at local house prices or season ticket costs, I thought it would give a more tangible gauge of compared with nearby towns that are similarly commutable but fly under the radar. But there is almost always a catch: that more affordable home may come with a longer commute or a higher-priced season ticket.
The best-value commuter region overall is east/south-east London, taking in Essex and Kent. Even if you live near its most expensive commuter station, Sevenoaks, your monthly mortgage and travel outgoings will be less than half of what you would pay to live near Oxshott – the priciest station in the south/south-west commuter belt. It will also be significantly less than if you live in Gerrards Cross or Radlett, the most expensive stations in the west/northwest and north/north-east.
The overlooked bestvalue gems to the east and south-east of London are perfect for those who work in the City, as you can commute to Liverpool Street and walk to work. Clacy pinpoints Southend-on-Sea as one of those unsung commuter spots. “It hasn’t always had the best reputation, but it has some attractive terraces and there’s the airport for ease of getting abroad,” she adds.
Stephen White, head of Savills Chelmsford, adds that in the town’s smartest districts of Thorpe Bay and Leigh-on-Sea, you can pay up to £800,000 for seafront apartments and £1.5million for a Thirties house
“It has all the housing types you could want within a few miles of the station and a fantastic train line. It’s not all about beachfront arcades,” says White.
Here’s a look at some of the commutable surprises on each side of London.