Commuter towns are likely to be the housing market talk this year as more inquiries and sales focus away from London. 2020 was an upheaval in more ways than one, which reflects on things like housing trends. People are still looking at their options beyond the hustle and bustle of London life, and that’s why nearby areas will benefit. What’re the current places to scout for a suitable commuter town near the capital?
We’re looking at five locations that fit the term commuter town to keep things on point, although some are technically cities. All feature on the various ‘best-of’ lists and have notable attributes which we consider favourable for anyone relocating this year. The key factors are average property price, distance, and season ticket cost. Here are Aussie’s top suggestions for commuter towns within a reasonable travel time to London.
The Housing Options Close to London –
The reports of a mass exodus from Greater London have been slightly exaggerated. There has always been a migration of people moving in and out of London every year. While this is true, it tends to have a balance to it, almost like an ecosystem. The numbers stack differently now, with more leaving than arriving.
Fortunately, London will continue to attract tens of thousands of new residents. The trend was a bit of a shock to the system, but this is true of the pandemic response. Now, a year since the initial lockdown started, we’re all still trying to find our feet. And, unsurprisingly, many people are actively seeking to change their situation.
Due to the lack of suitable outdoor areas, apartments in the city centre will likely struggle. Having a back garden is the new selling point, and they come at a premium in London. That’s why many families are setting their sights elsewhere. Keeping a connection to the city but leaving it for a detached house is very much the flavour for 2021.
Transport Costs and Commuting Times –
It’s time to delve into some practical side of finding a suitable commuter town close to London. For the sake of focus, we’ll limit the one-way travel time to 60 minutes or less. We’ll balance popularity against the cost of a seasonal rail ticket and average house price. Let’s begin with transport links by rail and how long the average journey takes.
Here’s Aussie’s top five commuter towns near London –
- St Albans, Hertfordshire.
- Slough, Berkshire.
- Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.
- Woking, Surrey.
- Luton, Bedfordshire.
*Average Travel Distance to London – 36 minutes
**Season Rail Ticket Cost, Cheapest – £3808
Season Rail Ticket Cost, Most Expensive – £7416
Travel distance to London – 21 minutes
Season rail ticket cost, cheapest – £2860
Season rail ticket cost, most expensive – £5196
Travel distance to London – 52 minutes
Season rail ticket cost, cheapest – £4936
Season rail ticket cost, most expensive – £10628
Note – Cambridge has more restrictions on station coverage per season ticket than the other locations on this list. Please consider this and consult directly with the Trainline to ensure you understand the season ticket information correctly.
Travel distance to London – 26 minutes
Season rail ticket cost, cheapest – £3528
Season rail ticket cost, most expensive – £8172
Travel distance to London – 45 minutes
Season rail ticket cost, cheapest – £4544
Season rail ticket cost, most expensive – £8868
*Travel distance to London is calculated by average rail times due to a large number of variables.
** Cost of an annual season ticket represents the cheapest standard ticket prices up to the most expensive first-class ticket prices. There are other variables to consider, such as limitations to stations for some annual tickets.
All average travel times sourced from the Totally Money Commuter Hotspots tool.
Average Property Price Comparisons –
This is an area where people hope to save some money when leaving London. That’s because it’s the world’s worst-kept secret that it’s expensive to live in the capital. With some astoundingly high rental and mortgage costs, it’s no wonder many are rethinking their current living quarters.
Let’s see what the average comparisons are from our top picks:
Average house price – £582,357
Average rental price for 1-bed in town or city centre – £1075
- outskirts – £907.14
Average rental price for 3-bed in town or city centre – £1971.43
- outskirts – £1683.33
Average house price – £388,156
Average rental price for 1-bed in town or city centre – £832.50
- outskirts – £855.00
Average rental price for 3-bed in town or city centre – £1766.67
- outskirts – £1475.00
Average house price – £456,334
Average rental price for 1-bed in town or city centre – £1475
- outskirts – £846.11
Average rental price for 3-bed in town or city centre – £1778.95
- outskirts – £1304.72
Average house price – £520,533
Average rental price for 1-bed in town or city centre – £1050
- outskirts – £862.50
Average rental price for 3-bed in town or city centre – £2000
- outskirts – £1520
Average house price – £256,654
Average rental price for 1-bed in town or city centre – £735.71
- outskirts – £660.71
Average rental price for 3-bed in town or city centre – £1271.43
- outskirts – £1118.75
All rental data from Numbeo – links in the next section.
Cost of Living and Potential Savings –
Next on our list is the cost of living, each with a direct comparison to the average London equivalent prices. This will get you nearer to a realistic overview of the potential savings when moving to a commuter town. However, please be mindful that the data covers a broad range of information, and you’ll need to do more specific research. But it’s a good indication and should be useful to improve your decision making.
Consumer Prices (not including rent) – 1.3% lower than London.
Rent Prices – 31.87% lower than London.
Restaurant Prices – 0.59% higher than London.
Groceries Prices – 1.81% higher than London.
Cumulative Standard of Life Comparison – £702 saving.
St Albans = £4098.
London = £4800.
Consumer Prices (not including rent) – 14.57% lower than London.
Rent Prices – 40.42% lower than London.
Restaurant Prices – 11.98% lower than London.
Groceries Prices – 11.83% lower than London.
Cumulative Standard of Life Comparison – £1204.14 saving.
Slough = £3559.86.
London = £4800.
Consumer Prices (not including rent) – 12.43% lower than London.
Rent Prices – 39.43% lower than London.
Restaurant Prices – 5.37% lower than London.
Groceries Prices – 9.09% lower than London.
Cumulative Standard of Life Comparison – £1161.59 saving.
Cambridge = £3638.41.
London = £4800.
Consumer Prices (not including rent) – 4.87% lower than London.
Rent Prices – 34.35% lower than London.
Restaurant Prices – 3.69% lower than London.
Groceries Prices – 1.54% lower than London.
Cumulative Standard of Life Comparison – £850.37 saving.
Woking = £3949.63
London = £4800.
Consumer Prices (not including rent) – 14.45% lower than London.
Rent Prices – 54.23% lower than London.
Restaurant Prices – 20.67% lower than London.
Groceries Prices – 9.22% lower than London.
Cumulative Standard of Life Comparison – £1525.85 saving.
Luton = £3274.15.
London = £4800.
And the Winner Is… –
In first place for Aussie’s commuter town list, you’ll find the town of Slough in Berkshire. It was a difficult choice, but it ticks more boxes regarding travel time, property price average, and living costs. You could make it to London and back within an hour, which is a huge advantage. It won’t work for everyone, and there will undoubtedly be a certain amount of culture shock.
You’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons of each location choice. We personally think there are positives for every town or city on our list. Even though St Albans (surprisingly) has two sets of more expensive data than London, you’ll still save hundreds per month. People looking for luxury or idyllic setting will likely go for this area.
If the main reason is value for money, Luton wins hands down. The travel time is perfectly manageable but at the higher end for this list. It’s astonishing how much you can save by moving to this town which is why it’s becoming a popular choice. And it’s well worth some further scouting and research for anyone looking for a decent return on investment.
There are plenty of other worthy commuter towns that you should research. The omissions for places like Grays and Sevenoaks in Kent (both original contenders) is the lack of cost-of-living data. We’re very grateful for platforms like Numbeo and encourage people to input data to help them build. But we require a particular criterion of information to undertake this task.
Booking a Removals and Storage Service –
We’re fast-forwarding in time now (hypothetically). You’ve found your perfect home in one of the commuter locations on our list. You’ll need to book a removals company to move you in, and that’s where Aussie comes back into the frame. We hope this article will help you weigh up the options for a potential new chapter in your life. And we would like nothing more than to transport you there.
Aussie has a range of removals and storage packages to suit every budget and relocating requirements. For moves from one or two-bed flats or houses, we’ll suggest our Man & Van removals service. For three bedrooms and upwards, Aussie’s Home Removals package is likely a better fit. We always recommend decluttering to reduce your moving load because it’s pointless taking things you no longer use with you.
Relocations often need an add-on storage package for things like move-in delays or due to it being a long-distance move. Aussie has three main storage options to choose from, which starts with a Self Storage package, ideal for short-term jobs where regular access is necessary. Then there’s our Container Storage service for long-term situations that require less access. And rounding things off with the unique AusBox Storage units, which combine elements of both in an affordable bundle.
Then it’s all down to our sterling reputation for removals and storage. By clicking here, you’ll see what our previous customers think of us. We’ll give you a clue by stating we have a swathe of five-star ratings on Google and Trustpilot. We’re proud to boast, enjoying a loyal group of clients who return to use us for other services and future relocations. The Aussie team will be ready to make your next move a success.
Aussie Man & Van London – Your Go-To Removals Company –
Aussie has been working in London and the neighbouring counties for twenty years. In that time, we’ve undertaken thousands of relocations to the commuter towns and cities in the surrounding areas. For us, a successful relocation stems from thorough preparation and leaving nothing to chance. We’ll guide you through your upcoming relocation from start to finish.
Aussie Man & Van operates with a ‘can-do’ ethos that acts as the foundation of every service our company offers. Our removals and storage packages allow people to receive the highest standard of service delivery. Additionally, we strive to give people more value for money, making it possible for everyone to have a successful relocation within their budget.
If you’re of moving to one of London’s commuter towns, please contact us today. We can accommodate just about every scenario with our unbeatable range of removals services.