Life on the Commuter Belt: Why Property in Bracknell is in High Demand
Bracknell, situated in the leafy county of Berkshire, lies approximately 30 miles from London and 11 miles from Reading. Its location within London’s Commuter Belt provides residents with the perfect balance between peaceful outer city living and easy access to the bustling capital and its plentiful world-renowned attractions and employment opportunities.
With location being a key deciding factor in many homebuyers’ decision-making process, we asked two local residents what life was like in this budding commuter town.
So, if you’re looking for property for sale in Bracknell, find out more about the area from the people who know it best.
Bracknell: A Bustling Commuter Town near London
Bracknell is one of the most affordable towns within the London Commuter Belt and has risen in popularity amongst homebuyers in recent years. The town forms part of Reading’s “travel-to-work” areas and its main trainline runs directly to London Waterloo and London Paddington, offering easy commutes to key employment hubs in the Capital, as well as its world class amenities and attractions.
Local resident, Rhodri Andrews, was born and raised in Bracknell and chose to continue residing in the town despite working in central London. He describes Bracknell’s connectivity as a major benefit for him as a hybrid worker.
“I actually work in central London but split my working week between the London office and working from home. The train to London Waterloo takes just over an hour and Bracknell is quite early along the line so in the mornings you can often nab a seat – very underrated!”
Along with its trainline, Bracknell is nestled between the M4 and M3 motorways and has easy access to the M25, enabling residents to travel almost anywhere is the South with ease.
“It’s probably one of the best towns in South East England for convenient, quick and simple commuting. With direct links to London and motorways stretching west and south – you can be on the beach in just over an hour” says Rhodri.
But what is it like to live in Bracknell?
Is Bracknell a Nice Place to Live?
Bracknell boasts over 150 parks and countryside areas including plenty of routes for walking and cycling around the area. It’s wealth of greenery is home to plenty of wildlife and outdoor events for locals and nature lovers to enjoy year-round. Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also within one hour’s drive from Bracknell town centre, offering residents the perfect respite from its thriving town centre.
“I really enjoy living in Bracknell and I’d absolutely recommend it,” says Rhodri.
“One of the best things about Bracknell is the wealth of green spaces. There are pinches of parkland all over the town where you can feel removed from the urban bustle – even just for a short while. I love that the town centre is also pretty compact and most amenities are within walking distance of one another.”
Bracknell Leisure Centre also provides a range of facilities, including three swimming pools, a gym and spa, a sports hall, group exercise classes, outdoor sports pitches, and athletics facilities.
But aside from its unrivalled connectivity and picturesque greenery, Bracknell itself has so much more to offer prospective homebuyers. The town has been transformed by over £770 million of local investment focussed on revamping residential, commercial and retail space, as well as local infrastructure in an ambitious regeneration scheme spanning more than 20 years.
We’ve written a comprehensive Bracknell area guide which looks at everything from things to do in Bracknell to employment opportunities and local bars and restaurants. Read more here.
Historically a quaint market town, Bracknell’s regeneration has breathed new life in the area. A vital part of the scheme was the Lexicon Shopping Centre which brought more than 160 stores, a 12-screen cinema and an abundance of bars and restaurants to the town centre, going on to become one of Berkshire’s leading shopping destinations. It now acts as a central hub for leisure and entertainment, transforming Bracknell into a booming commuter town since it opened in 2017.
“To tell the truth, Bracknell has been crying out for a new town centre for decades” says Rhodri. “Locals would often go to Reading or Windsor to do their shopping but no more. The Lexicon has become an essential social hotspot where locals can meet, grab a coffee or peruse some of the hottest high-street retailers. Before, people would have escape to nearby towns.”
This regeneration has truly put Bracknell on the map, with the town centre welcoming over 16 million customers to enjoy everything it has to offer within just one year of The Lexicon opening. Bracknell was one of the top three busiest towns for footfall in the UK as the UK lifted Covid restrictions.
“It’s crucially given Bracknell a presence in the evening. The town had very few decent restaurants before the Lexicon but now there’s a raft of delicious dining outlets to cater for a range of tastes. They complement the country pubs you can find on Bracknell’s outskirts, too.” Rhodri states.
Demand for Property
With its excellent transport links, exciting town centre and abundance of green space and leisure activities, that means Bracknell now presents homebuyers with an attractive alternative to the Capital.
Jason Farrimond, Associate Director at Leaders Romans Group based in Bracknell highlights the impact that regeneration projects have had on demand for property for sale in Bracknell:
“The towns transformation has elevated Bracknell’s appeal to homebuyers as local amenities continue to strongly influence purchase decisions. There is a great mix of shopping, dining and leisure activities all within The Lexicon shopping centre and we’ve seen buyers from much further afield move into the area.” he says.
Mr Farrimond added:
“In particular we have seen residents of more expensive locations such as Maidenhead and Windsor move into Bracknell and its surrounding villages over recent years, partly because the average price for homes and apartments in Bracknell is considerably cheaper when compared with new build apartments in Reading or London.”
In fact, the average property price in Bracknell is almost less than a third of the average price of London property which only adds to the appeal for prospective homebuyers.
Overall price growth in the Bracknell property market continues to be higher than Greater London, highlighting the potential within the market. With most properties in the South East already much more affordable than London, these predictions demonstrate the strength that property for sale in Bracknell could have in 2023.
Jason echoes this:
“According to land registry, over the past 2 years house prices in the Bracknell Forest have increased by 14.7%. Conversely apartment prices have increased by 10.4% during the same time period”.
You can read more on our Bracknell property price predictions for 2023 here.
Property for Sale in Bracknell
As demand for central apartments and new build homes grows, so does the requirement for residential facilities.
“With home working becoming the new norm apartments with either private outside space or access to amenity space such as communal gardens, gym facilities etc are really well received by prospective purchasers” says Jason.
SevenCapital’s flagship development, The Grand Exchange, offers just that. With exclusive resident-only facilities such as private event space, a bookable spa treatment room, a collaborative co-working hub for hybrid workers, a state-of-the-art gym as well as a serene garden room that offers space to unwind; this off-plan development caters to all wants and needs, presenting a new standard of living and great value for homebuyers.
“I believe The Grand Exchange will deliver much needed high-quality apartments into the town centre” states Jason.
If you want to find out more about The Grand Exchange apartments, click here.