Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Re-Drawing the Commuter Map; Property Analyst Sara McConnell Looks at New Research That Reveals Londoners Are Buying in Areas That Commuters Have Never before Been Able to Consider

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Re-Drawing the Commuter Map; Property Analyst Sara McConnell Looks at New Research That Reveals Londoners Are Buying in Areas That Commuters Have Never before Been Able to Consider

Article excerpt

Brighton THE commuter map has changed dramatically. Once encompassing the suburbs, it now reaches as far as Norfolk, Dorset and Nottinghamshire. A new property-buying map, commissioned exclusively for Homes & Property, reveals for the first time just how far out high-earning commuters, unwilling to give up City salaries, are prepared to live, aided by fast trains and technology.

Jim Ward, director in the research department at Savills, says thousands of people have left London for beautiful countryside, cleaner air, better schools, less crime and other amenities. "The furthest commutes are from scenic areas of open countryside, such as the Cotswolds, or the seaside, such as Dorset."

The spread of broadband means people can often work from home, says Ward.

Commuters' choice of location is heavily influenced by good road and rail links. Areas near train lines from Brighton, Nottingham, Peterborough and Norwich into London attract large concentrations of London commuters (see map).

Some are tempted by the prospect of lower house prices, but these are being pushed up by the arrival of Londoners with money to spend.

Add in commuting costs, and moving out of the capital is not necessarily a cheaper option.

"You might find, like for like, that you'd be better off in London. But people are looking for quality of life," says Ward.

Savills' map provides the fullest picture to date of London workers' commuting patterns.

The map is based on information collected during the 2001 census and shows the number of people in each electoral ward who said they mainly worked in Greater London.

Up to 10 per cent of people living as far away as Norwich, Nottingham, Leicester, Bristol, Winchester and Southampton commute regularly into London for work. In a rough circle, bounded by Ashford, Brighton, Basingstoke, Aylesbury, Stansted, Colchester and Southend, up to 20 per cent of people commute regularly.

This rises to up to 50 per cent in areas closer to the capital such as High Wycombe, Woking, Tunbridge Wells, Basildon and Chelmsford. In Brighton has long been popular with Londoners escaping by train to the sea for a day.

More recently, it has become home to growing numbers of emigres from the capital who love Brighton's elegant Regency terraces and raffish trendiness.

Alex Sheppard, of estate agent Strutt & Parker (01273 779649), says that of the eight sales he has going through, five are to buyers moving out of London. "There used to be loads of Londoners buying second homes, but now they're moving down to buy bigger houses or downsizing," he says.

Property: Regency terraces with mews houses behind squares and streets leading down to the sea. One-bedroom seafront flats start at [pounds sterling]175,000.

Four-bedroom Victorian family houses in Hove start at about [pounds sterling]550,000. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.