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The Rise of Commuter Belt Property

As workers and families continue to leave London in droves, the spotlight has fallen on the UK’s regional cities and commuter belt property. With significantly lower living costs, areas such as Slough and Basingstoke have seen a huge rise in popularity as commuting towns become an increasingly attractive prospect for living and investing in.

This matches figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which show that nearly 28% of London’s top businesses have had employees leave because they can’t afford to live in the capital. CBI believe entry-level staff, particularly those that earn lower wages, have been most badly affected. Combined with property prices continuing to skyrocket, professionals of all ages are being forced to look elsewhere, seeking employment opportunities in more affordable locations.

While regional cities are providing to be even more affordable, for many London workers a shorter commute whilst maintaining their current role is ideal. Areas in the commuter belt such as Slough are already scoring high for potential employment opportunities, mainly in part due to an influx of inward investment and the arrival of several large business headquarters. They also offer closer access to London. This has created a potent combination that has resulted in rapidly increasing tenant demand.

Crossrail is also having a major effect, helping to mitigate the main pain point of the commuter belt by reducing travel times to London. As various commuter towns begin to benefit from unprecedented access into the capital, these already desirable locations will experience transformational growth.

This disparity in London property prices with the rest of the UK has even led to a ‘second commuter belt’ emerging. In research by James Pendleton, an independent London estate agent, they found that over 20 years the cost of a home in the ‘heritage commuter belt’ has grown by 313%. This huge increase, amidst continuing rising in London property prices, has seen a second belt develop that is growing at a similar rate (344%) over the same time frame.

With this outer belt including places such as Reading, Milton Keynes and Brighton, it seems to be the result of a generational shift. Economic challenges are forcing London workers to look even further afield, facing longer journeys for a more affordable lifestyle.

Co-founder of James Pendleton, Lucy Pendleton, believes that: “The fact that hundreds of thousands of people came to the same conclusion when faced by the same economic challenges is hardly surprising and that’s what shapes these long-term trends.

“There is a growing disparity between the haves and have-nots, who use their respective wealth to either stay put in London or jump the traditional commuter belt in search of homes they can actually afford”.

Combined with the investment these places are experiencing, in terms of lifestyle and commercially, means demand is being met and more people are willing to make the move. As London still works through the biggest decline they’ve experienced since 2009, the rise of commuter belt property is all too obvious.

Steel House in Slough

Steel House at The Metalworks is our premium commuter belt development in Slough. Ideally placed to experience Slough and only 100m from the nearest Crossrail station, Steel House offers excellent access to London.

We believe Steel House represents a unique opportunity. A representation of luxury living in a town that is emerging as the perfect place to live, work and play. Learn more about Steel House, at the heart of a thriving commercial town. 

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