11 April 2016
11 April 2016,

Recent research demonstrates that investors increasingly are targeting houses outside the capital – and in particular, looking for property investment opportunities in the commuter belt region.

The research shows that, in the months leading up to Chancellor George Osborne’s stamp duty hike, prime country houses in the area surrounding the capital have experienced a 24% spike in popularity. Investors have especially focused on properties worth £1million or less – and houses within this bracket have seen a 4% price rise in the last 12 months.

Property Investment UK: The Facts

All areas of the UK have experienced price growth in the first three months of the year, with the notable exception of London. Regions within easy commute of the capital have experienced the most sizeable growth, closely followed by the Midlands, the South and the North of the country.

London, by contrast, has seen prices fall slightly, by 0.3%.

Figures suggest that Londoners are particularly seeking property investment opportunities outside the city. Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills, states: “Previously, buyers have been reluctant to trade out of the London market, given the extent to which its value has been rising.”

He adds: “This is now much less of a concern. The stamp duty costs of upsizing in the capital and limits on what can be borrowed are acting as catalysts for a greater flow of wealth into the prime regional housing markets.”

Indeed, according to Savills’ figures, 30% of all prime suburban and commuter-belt property purchases are made by Londoners. This is up 7% from the previous year.

Investment Properties in London – Myth or truth?

It’s easy to see why people are seeking property investment opportunities outside of London. Most areas in the commuter belt, without exception, offer considerably more space than London properties of an equivalent value – and people are attracted by the prospect of living in more rural location, whilst still maintaining close proximity to the city.

However, those seeking out buy-to-let property for sale shouldn’t rule out London entirely. Whilst the commuter-belt towns are invariably popular with renters, there is still a sizeable number of people wanting to live within the city itself – and rental yields are often considerably higher. Indeed, if prices continue to fall, London may start to become increasingly popular again – so it’s worth keeping a firm eye on the market.

Investing in Property in the UK – The Commuter Belt Hotspots

Property group CBRE created a comprehensive report, detailing the best places to invest in the Home Counties. Here’s the areas that topped the list:

  • Tilbury and Grays, Essex. Two Essex towns came out on top; both with low annual commuter costs (£3,352 per annum) and short commutes into London (45 minutes and 34 minutes respectively).


  • Chatham and Ashford, Kent. Third and fourth on the list were Chatham and Ashford, with commuting times of 43 minutes and 38 minutes respectively. Costs of commuting from Chatham was £3,876 per annum, and in Ashford, only £2,792.


  • Dartford and Gravesend, Kent. Dartford offers the lowest cost annual commute fare, of just £2,336. It’s a 42-minute train journey from the capital, whilst Gravesend is just 24 minutes away.

Other key commuter-belt hotspots include: Basildon (Essex), Swanscombe and Gillingham (Kent), and Crawley (West Sussex).

The Buy-to-Let Shop Limited

If you’re seeking buy-to-let property for sale and you’d like assistance with identifying property investment opportunities, talk to The Buy to Let Shop team. We have a wide range of investment properties (UK) on our books, with many not being available for sale on the general market.

We also offer help with buying a house at auction, and regularly host informative property seminars in London. To find out more about our services, simply get in touch via our website.




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