London commuters thinking of moving to a location outside of the capital can look to inside tips from property experts on up-and-coming areas in the East Midlands.
Moving further upcountry could save potential homebuyers a considerable amount, whilst being situated less than two hours from London, with the average property prices in the East Midlands being just £241,749, £387,512 cheaper than the Greater London average of £629,261.
As a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic there has been a real shift towards home working, with many companies giving up office overheads – a change which has led to London workers having less reason to pay bigger price tags for properties in the big smoke, stoking searches for new, cheaper locations to live elsewhere.
Head of residential conveyancing at JMP Solicitors, Jacqui Harley, said: “London is a prosperous place for many to work and do business, but in terms of buying a longterm property, it is definitely worth looking further afield for more affordable options. With excellent transport links, the East Midlands is an ideal location for regular London visitors and a tranquil base to settle down with families or partners, whilst boasting regular fast trains to the capital.
“Those looking to buy a home must remember that research is important – look at what you want from a property and prioritise what is important. You will be amazed that most features can be ticked off in this area, at a realistic price.”
Tim Downing director at Pygott & Crone said: “Purchasing a home outside of London can have a range of benefits including affordability, greener spaces and cleaner air. London workers shouldn’t be put off by the distance as many East Midlands locations can be reached in less than two hours, with regular improvements to rail services such as the new Azuma train service.
“Even before lockdown, the market in the East Midlands was buoyant, and it continues to do well at present with prices remaining steady. It has always been strong and fruitful, down to improving transport links and a fantastic lifestyle on offer in the region, and we are finding it to be an increasingly popular choice with people looking to move out of London.”
According to property experts JMP Solicitors and Pygott and Crone, here are some of the top locations in the East Midlands for London commuters.
One of the fastest routes into London with one of the lowest average housing price, Grantham is a prime location for regular commuters to the city and you can reach London in 1hr 03m from Grantham Station.
The Lincolnshire town is located in the middle of the cities of Nottingham and Lincoln, and has excellent transport links, being located close to the A1 road which leads directly to London should you wish to travel by car. Currently undergoing regeneration, it will soon feature a brand new 130-unit designer outlet, and has already benefitted from a new cinema complex as part of wider improvement plans.
Train fares start from just £12, with up to 71 trains to London per day.
The average property price sits at the lower end at just £180,016 – a saving of £449,200 compared to the average Greater London price.
An exciting and vibrant city, Nottingham is a great location for London commuters who enjoy the excitement of city life.
Its rich business community and creative quarter makes it ideal for making new connections, and it has excellent educational prospects with two top universities. The city centre boasts two shopping centres, a huge range of restaurants and vibrant nightlife.
From just £13.50, you can reach London in 1hr 34m, with up to 43 trains travelling to the capital per day.
You can purchase a home in Nottingham for the average price of £202,625.
3. Market Harborough
The Leicestershire town of Market Harborough has the feeling of a rural countryside location without being too remote, and it features a delightful mix of independent and brand name shops. With 35 of its 43 schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, it is also ideal for raising young children.
You can reach London from Market Harborough in less than an hour for just £13 on the train, or in just over two hours by car.
The average property price is above the East Midlands average at £303,470, but still considerably cheaper than London.
With the River Trent running through the cobbled market square centre, Nottinghamshire town Newark is ideal for families looking for a quieter lifestyle. The centre is picturesque with plenty to do at the weekends including visits to Newark Castle and a regular market.
For regular commuters, train times start from 1hr 14m at a price of just £13.50, and it is another town which sits just off the A1 for drivers.
Around £60,000 cheaper than the East Midlands average, the average property price in Newark is just £176,666.
5. Melton Mowbray
For an average price of £214,144, you can find a bucolic property in the North Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray.
Known as the ‘rural capital of food’, the town is famous for its pork pies and cheese. You can pick up some local delicacies at regular farmers markets or learn more about its food history at the Melton Carnegie Museum.
With train tickets starting from £15.30, commuters can reach London in 1hr 41m, with up to 23 trains running per day. The town is also located in close proximity to M1, M69 and A1 for drivers.
Last year, the new high-speed Azuma train service was launched between Lincoln and Kings Cross, allowing Lincoln commuters to reach London in under two hours.
The city is rich in culture and heritage with Roman ruins running through the centre, and it is home to the iconic Lincoln Cathedral, currently undergoing a £12.4million transformation to improve visitor experience.
Cheaper than the East Midlands average and considerably cheaper than the Greater London Average, you can purchase a property in Lincoln for around £171,638.