London’s second commuter belt sees house prices rise by 344% over 20 years

Recent research suggests that a second commuter belt has emerged as a result of the high house prices in London.

According to James Pendleton, the independent London estate agent, a generational shift is being driven by commuters to the city, resulting in house prices further out of the capital seeing an uplift.

This, as highlighted by the firm, means that in many cases the commute into London is no longer justified, as the prices of homes further out are on track to meet those in the heart of the city.

The research found that over the past two decades, the cost of a home in London’s ‘heritage belt’ has grown by 313%, with the average home selling for £390,362. This includes places such as High Wycombe, St Albans, Sevenoaks, Maidenhead and Brentwood.

Beyond this, the cost of a home in the second commuter belt has grown by 344% over the same time frame, with properties now selling for up to £319,147 on average. This outer belt includes places such as Aylesbury, Reading, Milton Keynes and Brighton.

Commenting on the research was Co-Founder Director at James Pendleton, Lucy Pendleton.

She stated: “It’s hugely counter-intuitive to see house prices rising faster, the further from London you go as it runs contrary to the received wisdom illustrated by steep rises in the capital.

“What that tells us is that there has been a generational shift in thinking. Workers in the capital wouldn’t have dreamt of commuting from some of these outliers 20 years ago but financial realities have forced people to swallow ever bigger journeys. The fact that hundreds of thousands of people came to the same conclusion when faced by the same economic challenges is hardly surprising and that’s what shapes these long-term trends.

“The most worrying diagnosis, however, is that there is a growing disparity between the haves and the have nots who use their respective wealth to either stay put in London or jump the traditional commuter belt in search of homes they can actually afford.”

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