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Buy-to-Let London and the Commuter Belt Overview

House Prices in London’s commuter belt areas continue to rise on an upward trajectory providing huge potential for capital growth. According to research the average cost of a property in London’s traditional inner commuter belt (In towns such as Woking, Sevenoaks and St. Albans) has rocketed 313% over the past 20 years, during the same period, the recently considered and discounted, outer London commuter belt areas (Such as High Wycombe) have increased by a marginal 9.7%. In the past year house prices in High Wycombe were 5% up on the year before and 20% up on 2015 when property prices averaged at £286,297.

The town was ranked in the Top 10 Commuter Hotspots by TotallyMoney out of 116 commuter towns with the second highest satisfaction level. The report which analyses factors such as journey time, average house price, season ticket cost and life satisfaction, frequently ranks the town within the Top 10. (‘Top 10 Commuter Hotspots’ by TotallyMoney).

The unwelcomed ‘£5k club’ is something that an increasing amount of Londoners are experiencing as they are having to reluctantly pay £5,000, sometimes even more, for a train season ticket per year. By choosing to live in a more suburban area, however, people could reduce their travel costs by over a half. With soaring living costs and property prices, Londoners are making serious lifestyle changes in order to save for a property. In recent years, this has put a spotlight on possible commuting towns as Londoners migrate for a better standard of living.

As the UK’s leading buy-to-rent consultancy Surrenden have exclusive access to the best opportunities in London and the South East.

London Property Investment Outlook for 2019

Sales Market

£429,000
Average London house price
4.5%
Property price growth of 4.5% between 2018 and 2023 forecast by Savills
30.0%
30% of London households were rented privately in 2016/17 (up from under 20% in 2006/07)
24.4%
PwC predicts a rise of 24.4% in private renting in London by 2025 (compared with 14.5% nationally)

Rental Market

47.0%
Only 47% of Londoners own their own home (63% nationally)
£3,151PCM
Average asking rent stood at £3,151 pcm as at November 2018

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Regeneration

London is a dynamic and quickly changing city. So is the wider economic area that surrounds it. Recently, much regeneration work in and around the city has been spurred on by infrastructure improvements. Areas such as Reading that are set to benefit from Crossrail stations and HS2 stations are therefore firmly in the spotlight, as are several pockets of the city where property is currently undervalued.

Transport

Tunnelling for Crossrail began in 2012 and the first trains ran in 2017. Known as the Elizabeth Line, the £15 billion service will be fully open in 2019. HS2, meanwhile, will see vastly reduced journey times between London and several key regional cities, including Birmingham and Manchester. The service is due to open in phases from 2026 to 2030.

Neighbourhood

London is such a vast city that it can be tough to identify which neighbourhoods make for the best property investment UK opportunities. Areas to look out for are those where properties are undervalued but with good prospects for future price rises. Parts of Mitcham, for example, boast excellent potential on this front. In terms of the commuter belt, the key locations are those with a fast, reliable connection to London and an idyllic setting for family life.

Yields

The London property market is unique in the UK. Due to the elevated prices in the capital, yields are often lower than those in regional cities. However, the right developments in the right locations can still command healthy returns, particularly in top commuter belt locations. London also offers the potential for capital gains, as well as the prestige associated with owning a home in this leading global city.

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