As the UK’s most expensive area to live in – with pricey Central London costing an average of £1,610,154 over the last 12 months and even the most affordable region, East London, costing £535,429 – buying a property in London is out of reach for many of the capital’s residents.
If you are willing to move out of the city, property is certainly more affordable, and you have the added incentive of leaving the 24/7 buzz of the city behind you, which often starts to appeal once the pitter patter of tiny feet arrive!
Of course there is always a trade-off, and the further you move outside of London, the longer your daily commute will be. With many of us now returning to the office on a much more regular basis, the length of time you spend travelling, and the costs you incur to do so are certainly something you need to carefully consider when it comes to buying a new home.
So, where are the best places to move to if you still need to be in Central London regularly for work?
According to online estate agents Yopa’s, London Commuter Guide, these are the top 10 commuter towns in 2023.
- Woking, Surrey
- Reading, Berkshire
- Slough, Berkshire
- Luton, Bedfordshire
- St Albans, Hertfordshire
- Maidenhead, Berkshire
- Stevenage, Hertfordshire
- Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
- Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire
- Letchworth, Hertfordshire
Yopa assessed each of the towns and cities served by train lines into London against a number of factors important to commuters, scoring them out of 100. These key commuting stats included:
- Season ticket price.
- The time it takes to get into London via train.
- The number of train services per day.
- The average house price locally.
- Crime rates.
- The number of ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ primary and secondary schools.
- The average weekly salary.
|Town||Score||Season ticket price||Travel time||No. of daily trains||Average house price||Crime rate||Primary Schools||Secondary Schools||Average salary|
|St Albans||84||£4,184||21 mins||246||£647,526||55.43||36||11||£614|
|Hemel Hempstead||81.8||£4,444||32 mins||132||£438,878||58.95||35||7||£688|
|Milton Keynes||80.2||£6,232||32 mins||200||£361,125||97.94||55||11||£697|
Coming in at the top of the list is Woking in Surrey, the only Surrey town to make the top 10, possibly thanks to the county’s expensive price tag. Indeed, Surrey is the most expensive of the home counties and the South East region generally, with an average price of £653,834 over the last 12 months. Despite not offering the most affordable house prices in the top 10, Woking’s more reasonable season ticket price, impressive 412 daily train services, low crime rates and the highest average salary of those listed made it a winner in the commuter stakes.
More affordable counties Berkshire and Hertfordshire take 7 of the top spots and offer commuters a considerably less expensive average price tag of £502,399 and £556,154 respectively, whilst still providing a speedy commute of within 17-32 minutes and a great selection of primary and secondary schools.
Whilst a bit further outside of London, Luton in Bedfordshire appears at number 4 on the list thanks to the added benefit of a much more purse-friendly average property price (£311,626) and still offers some great transport links. Commuters can be at London St Pancras station in central London within 28 minutes and for those journeys further afield you have international Luton Airport on the doorstep, plus the nearby M1 which provides links with the rest of the UK.
Popular Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire has also made the top 10. Despite its distance from the capital, you can still be at London Euston in 32 minutes and the city itself has a huge number of amenities from retail and dining to sports and leisure, yet you can still be in the scenic Chiltern Hills ANOB in less than an hour. Even better, is an affordable average property price of £361,125.