Wed. Sep 27th, 2023
    Londoners Flock to Buy Homes Outside the Capital as Interest Rates Rise

    Londoners are increasingly purchasing homes outside the capital, with almost 33,000 properties bought in the first half of this year alone. This trend is attributed to the lower prices and the desire for a more relaxed lifestyle in towns and villages. However, due to the increasing interest rates, these buyers are now spending significantly less than they did a year ago, with the average price for a new home being £430,000.

    Interestingly, a large number of first-time buyers are also venturing outside of London to purchase their properties. Research by Hamptons reveals that almost one in three homes bought by Londoners were sold to novice buyers, who are taking their first steps on the property ladder outside the M25. Most of these buyers have chosen to remain in the south-east region, allowing them easy access back into London when required.

    The Evening Standard New Homes Awards aims to recognize the best new homes in desirable locations in the Home Counties. This highlights the fact that choosing to live in the countryside does not necessarily mean buying an old country cottage.

    One sought-after location is the village of Sutton Valence in Kent. With its picturesque rows of weatherboarded cottages and a ruined castle, Sutton Valence offers both charm and stunning views of the Vale of Kent. The village is just six miles away from Maidstone, which provides convenient access to London via train. Sutton Valence Primary School is rated “Good” by Ofsted, making it an attractive option for families. The Nurseries, a development of 18 homes half a mile from the village, offers three-bedroom semi-detached houses starting from £500,000.

    Another desirable area is Little Kimble in Buckinghamshire, located on the edge of the Chiltern Hills. The village provides a peaceful setting, perfect for long country walks, and also offers easy access to Princes Risborough, where one can find amenities like a pub and a cricket club. The Halton Community Combined School and Aylesbury’s grammar schools provide outstanding education options within a short distance. Hayfield Crescent, an eco-friendly development on the outskirts of Little Kimble, offers three-bedroom houses starting from £790,000 and two-bedroom bungalows starting from £850,000.

    For those who prefer market towns, Watlington in Oxfordshire is an excellent choice. Despite its small size, Watlington’s high street is lined with a variety of shops, cafes, and boutiques. The village’s strong sense of community is exemplified by the sports clubs available for tennis, squash, and cricket. Thame, just nine miles away, provides a train service that takes around 50 minutes to reach Marylebone. Castle Gardens, located close to Watlington’s high street, offers flats and houses set in landscaped gardens, catering specifically to seniors. Prices start at £295,000 for a one-bedroom flat and £610,000 for a two-bedroom house.

    Lastly, the idyllic village of Finchingfield in Essex offers a taste of country life within an hour’s distance from London. The village boasts a village green, an 18th-century windmill, and several pubs and tearooms. Its primary school is rated “Good” by Ofsted, and it provides easy access to Stansted Airport. The nearby town of Braintree offers all the necessary amenities. Eden Green, a development of 30 luxury homes, is located in Finchingfield, with prices starting at £325,000.

    These examples highlight the growing trend of Londoners seeking homes outside the capital, as they are enticed by the lower prices and the opportunity for a more peaceful and fulfilling lifestyle.

    Sources:
    – Evening Standard article, “Londoners are heading for the country: the most desirable villages within commuting distance”
    – Research by Hamptons