Best Commuter Towns Near London 2022
With the London exodus broadening the commuter belt and putting more towns near London on the map, investors now have more variety when choosing their next Buy-to-Let location in 2022.
Commuter towns can often provide the best of both worlds – transport links to the capital and affordable property prices. Along with the accessibility of these markets, properties in commuter towns typically offer access to green areas and bigger spaces, which when combined with their accessibility, is everything the modern tenant is searching for.
The likes of Slough, St. Albans and Bracknell have long been considered traditional commuter towns, but as London leavers expand their property searches to up to 40 miles outside of London, we have identified new areas that are emerging as some of the top UK investment hotspots.
As the potential of these towns often catalyses extensive regeneration schemes and further upgrades to transport links, it’s no surprise they’re becoming hubs for employment, transport and amenities.
Looking for the best commuter towns near London in 2022? Read to find out more.
Investing in Commuter Towns Near London
When we talk about the ‘best’ commuter towns near London in 2022, there’s a number of investment factors we tend to consider. While some are more obvious for investors, we’re also looking at it from the view of a tenant. Key metrics are:
Property Prices – Rental Yields – Tenant Demand – Population – Regeneration – Career Opportunities – BTL Opportunities – Transport Links
This allows us to build a complete picture of a location’s Buy-to-Let performance while also highlighting the best commuter towns near London for investors.
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Nestled between London and Maidenhead, Slough is quickly becoming a serious contender amongst those looking to relocate to Berkshire. The town will not only house new shops, bars and restaurants in the years to come, but with the near completion of the Elizabeth Line, you can expect your London commute to fall to under 20 minutes.
The Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) scheme is set to reshape the town, with the evolving demands of residents encouraging these redevelopment projects. For the gym-goers searching for premium sporting spaces and the amenities to match, then look no further. The Centre has delivered exercise studios, swimming pools and sports halls, while the Salt Hill Activity Centre is full of bowling alleys, games and entertainment spots.
But do you really live in Slough if you haven’t visited the Queensmere Shopping Centre? As one of the town’s iconic attractions, the shopping centre is filled with household brands that attract thousands of shoppers every day. With a redevelopment on the horizon, it’s expected Queensmere will become a true destination for the town and could help boost footfall across the wider town, driving demand for property investment opportunities in Slough.
A move to Slough does not mean compromising on employment opportunities, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Not only is the town already home to over 6,500 businesses, but the expanding town centre is likely to bring a wealth of new jobs, from retail positions to professional roles, further solidifying Slough as one of the top investment hotspots in South East England.
Slough Key Stats
Price Growth since 2020:
While the majority of towns across the South East are undergoing some form of regeneration, the new amenities across Bracknell offer the perfect mix of live, work and play.
The Lexicon has long been a landmark for Bracknell, but the new and improved version is ideal for those longing for some retail therapy. Whether you’re more Fenwick or Fat Face, a trip to the Lexicon won’t disappoint, with 70 new retail and food outlets within the complex.
Work hard, play hard are words to live by, and with Bracknell housing the most tech jobs outside of the capital, the town is perfectly positioned to attract some of the top young professionals across a range of industries. From Fujitsu to Waitrose and Honda, Bracknell is home to a wealth of global businesses which is only set to increase in the coming years.
Working in the capital? Bracknell’s easy access to key locations in Berkshire and across wider South East England makes it one of the best commuter towns near London. While you can enjoy more affordable rental prices and new amenities, you can still reach your London office in under an hour.
For those searching for ‘city-living’ amenities and job opportunities in the South at a fraction of the price of surrounding hotspots, Bracknell is ideal. With further growth on the horizon, Bracknell is a prime example of how properties in commuter towns can benefit from connectivity and regeneration.
Bracknell Key Stats
Exp. Rental Growth by ’25:
Just a stone’s throw from Reading, Wokingham is a quaint market town West of London. Brimming with green spaces, this Berkshire town is a breath of fresh air from the capital, and is often a popular choice amongst commuters.
With nature reserves, country parks and picturesque gardens, Wokingham is ideal for those socially distanced walks and picnics. But if theatrics are more your thing, then the Wokingham theatre is one to bookmark for 2022.
Wokingham’s focus on community space will only increase in the coming years, with the redevelopment of Peach Place bringing new shops and amenities to the town, as well as public squares for quick coffees or late lunches.
Much like the majority of Berkshire, Wokingham has links to London Waterloo and Paddington, offering a variety of options for either jobs or a staycation. While this market town has connections across London, Wokingham has a wealth of employment opportunities, with 31.8% of workers in professional positions.
So, if you’re searching for a slice of serenity in one of the best commuter towns near London, Wokingham is definitely one to consider.
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What comes to mind when you think of Windsor? Home to Windsor castle, the town’s connections to the Royal family isn’t the only selling point of the area. Boasting several racecourses, a shopping centre and one of the UK’s few Legoland resorts, this Berkshire town has something for everyone of all ages.
Not only do these amenities make Windsor perfect for families, but the town also has a strong network of schools. From St. George’s Primary School, to Eton College, the town has housed multiple prime ministers and British leaders.
The town’s regeneration scheme is further bolstering employment options for residents, while delivering new transport links. The Windsor Link Railway has already connected Slough to London Waterloo, with the Second Phase of the project aiming to broaden Windsor’s reach to Heathrow, the West and even further across South East England.
Looking beyond Windsor’s connections to the British monarchy, the town is a great area of Berkshire in its own right. The connections across the UK makes it an ideal location for transient tenants, while the amenities, equally, position the town as a family hub. And with an average property price of £637,604, Windsor demonstrates how properties in commuter towns reap the rewards of these invaluable links.
Arguably the most well known area of West Berkshire, Reading has built its reputation on several different factors. From hosting the Reading Festival, to housing one of the UK’s leading universities, this town is established within Berkshire’s profile.
In keeping with the wider regeneration projects occurring across the South East, Reading is also being transformed. Station Hill is at the heart of the town’s revitalisation, which will bring new public squares and outdoor spaces to Reading, for socially distanced catch ups and after work drinks.
It’s expected these amenities will then further encourage a higher standard of leisure attractions and job opportunities. Reading is renowned for having the fastest growing economy in the Thames Valley over the past 20+ years, with finance giants Deloitte, PwC and EY having offices in the Berkshire town.
Not only does Reading boast an impressive track record, the town’s economy is forecasting 2.2% growth by 2023. Reading’s reputation as an economic powerhouse, combined with its future growth, only emphasises its position as one of the top UK investment hotspots.
Much like other key locations in the wider South East, Reading has a variety of transport links. The multi-million station in the town signifies this, where you can expect direct services to London, Heathrow and Gatwick, making your summer getaways much easier.
With the opportunities for transport, leisure and employment, Reading offers the luxuries of city living within a Berkshire town.
Basingstoke is the largest town in Hampshire, with a rich heritage rooted beyond the Roman times. Aside from its impressive history, Basingstoke is renowned for having one of the best shopping centres in the South.
Festival Place is a vibrant shopping centre in the middle of Basingstoke, brimming with shops, workspaces and sports facilities. Basingstoke centre is a destination for residents, where they can relax, socialise, work, eat and shop all in one place. Combined with the Anvil music theatre, it’s no surprise that 92% of residents enjoy living in Basingstoke.
The town also has a strong reputation of being a ‘tech corridor’, in addition to housing major brands like Sony, Barclays and AXA Wealth. A strong employment base, great shopping and even better restaurants, what more could you ask for?
Much like many of the towns and cities in the South East, Basingstoke has easy access to both London and the wider South East. The Basingstoke Transport Strategy was recently introduced to maximise the town’s accessibility, building on the numerous trains running to central London and Heathrow – both just 45 minutes away.
Basingstoke Key Stats
Growth over 10 Years:
Average Rental Yield:
While it’s generally most known for its airport, there’s a lot more to Luton than meets the eye. Being just 30 miles north of London, it’s often a contender for transient tenants seeking affordability. As well as the 22 minute commute to the capital, the connectivity of the town means that 23 million people are within a two-hour reach of the town.
In recent years, the local council has built upon the town’s potential, with the Luton 2040 scheme set to propel this further. Adding to the town’s existing hospitality hotspots and amenities, this vision will provide local residents with the employment opportunities to match.
Although the economy is already worth £7.5bn, by 2025, Luton will soon be known as a ‘real living wage’ town, offering new jobs and providing local residents with the skills strategy to meet the demands of the town’s future employment base. The future of Luton is looking bright, and with the town’s access to key rail, air and road transport links, it will soon surpass the expectations of tenants and will be amongst many top UK investment hotspots.
Think quaint cafes and leafy country lanes. Horley in Sussex is ideal for those searching for the best of both worlds – country living with London on the doorstep.
The town boasts many shops, restaurants, pubs and cultural theatres, meaning you can find something for everyone in Horley town centre. But the town’s biggest hook is housing Gatwick airport. The tenth-biggest airport in Europe, Gatwick offers Horley residents international flights across the globe.
While the town’s connectivity across the globe slightly overshadows its UK links, residents can reach London in around 30 minutes, with regular trains and bus services. These green spaces and transport links make Horley a perfect transitional town for those wanting access to London, but still looking for the stunning countryside that South East England can offer.
Stevenage is a small town in Hertfordshire, just 29 miles north of London. Despite being a compact town, it is in the midst of an ambitious regeneration project. What started in 2019, this scheme will span the next 18 years and will gradually redevelop the town centre.
As the project continues, residents can expect existing retail hubs to be revitalised with a selection of new brands and new, vibrant public spaces. Much like the wider region, the town’s council is aiming to increase the connectivity of Stevenage, and hopes to offer residents everything they need in a single area.
While the town is within commutable distance to the capital, and is just shy of A1 junctions, Stevenage is in the process of increasing its employment opportunities. The town itself has supported almost 50 start-up companies within the centre, and the ongoing regeneration schemes will add additional work spaces for both existing and future businesses. In turn, this will likely drive more jobs to the town in the years to come, putting Stevenage in the ranks for the best commuter towns near London.
If you’re looking for a quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of London, St. Albans could be the city for you. This cathedral city is steeped in history, with a picturesque castle at every turn.
As well as street markets and museums, living in St. Albans means that you’ll never be short of things to do with your weekends. But for your Monday-Friday routine, the city’s convenient spot on the commuter belt means you can get to your London office in just 20 minutes.
The city’s two train stations and regular bus services also offer direct links to two of the UK’s major airports – Gatwick and Luton. But if driving is more your thing, Luton is situated close to the M1, M25, as well as the start of the M10. With the town centre on the rise and it’s undeniable transport links, St.Albans is growing in popularity.
Offering transport links, growing employment opportunities and city-standard amenities, these locations are some of the best commuter towns near London. Not only are these components priorities for tenants, but the future potential of the towns make them top UK investment hotspots.