Why Invest in the London Commuter Belt?
There are many reasons why the South East is such an attractive prospect for people looking to move out of London, whether it’s affordable living, focused employment opportunities or simply a change of pace.
So why head to the Commuter Belt?
Firstly, and most importantly, it’s affordable. With much cheaper property prices, lower cost of living and excellent accessibility, commuter towns generally offer a great fit for those who want a less expensive lifestyle but don’t want to lose opportunities available in London.
Many Commuter Belt towns are ranking well in terms of potential, setting themselves up as excellent investment opportunities thanks to good schools, low unemployment and impressive amenities. These factors are driving tenant demand, providing for young professionals and families that are leaving London.
Furthermore, Savills predict that property in the London Commuter Belt could see prices rise by 17.5% and rental prices by 8% by 2025, as various towns and cities start their redevelopment programs.
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How Will Crossrail Change Investing Near London?
The Crossrail project is one of the largest transport schemes within the UK – a new railway that began in 2012 and is set to complete in 2022.
As COVID-restrictions ease, we’re seeing construction pick up pace. So what does Crossrail mean for the South East?
One of the benefits of a major infrastructure project such as this is the impact it can have on nearby towns.
While the Elizabeth Line doesn’t run through Bracknell, for example, the benefits of Crossrail will likely apply to the town alongside the wider South East.
As popular destinations amongst transient tenants – such as Bracknell – continue to make improvements to their amenities, its popularity once Crossrail arrives will be significantly boosted, driving the demand for rental property.
Average rents across the South East have seen year-on-year growth of over 10%, with a 5.5% increase in March 2021 alone. As flexible working continues to grow in popularity, Crossrail will continue making destinations along the commuter belt more appealing, stimulating up to 19% growth in prices between 2022 and 2025.
South East Residential Trends
In their revised forecasts, Savills expect the South East to continue experiencing above average growth as London maintains a slow recovery.
With 17% price growth expected by 2025, this will take average property price in the South East from £336,984 to £394,271 – an incredible increase for investors that purchase now.
On top of that, research by Hamptons has shown that the cost of renting in the South East has increased by 10.6% – bad news perhaps for tenants but a signpost of the above average performance that the South East is experiencing.
This is mainly due to the amenities that many towns and cities in the South East are building – meeting the increasing demand from an ambitious workforce with higher earnings looking for homes near the workplace.