Brexit might be the main topic of debate when it comes to “leave” or “remain”, but it also happens to be a question many Londoners are currently faced with. However, their conundrum isn’t about whether the UK should stay in the European Union, it relates to them staying in London or moving out of the capital altogether.
The question isn’t solely reserved for Londoners, either. Those who have recently secured jobs in the capital or need to frequently commute to the 'Big Smoke' are asking themselves if living in London is still a viable option for renting.
According to the Landbay Rental Index, London rents now average a cool £1,884 per month. While there are still excellent rental deals available in the capital, some people are unable to keep pace with increasing rents, instead looking at towns on the outskirts.
If you’re currently deciding whether or not your next move should be away from the capital, you’ve come to the right place. While we love London like no other, variety is the spice of life. Here are some areas outside of London where you can get a great rental deal and still only be a stone(ish) throw away from the capital.
Colchester is a town in Essex with plenty of history to boot. The property types are varied with a selection of Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian homes. It’s already proving popular with Londoners who want to pay more affordable rental prices.
But, the key question centres around travel. There is good news if you’re thinking of moving to Colchester: it takes around an hour to get to London, with Colchester mainline station arriving at Liverpool Street. The town is also on the A12, which has a direct route into London for drivers.
The median rent for a one-bedroom home in Colchester is around £640 per month. Two-bedroom homes command just over £750 per month and three-bedrooms and up, fetch between £1,000 and £1,250.
Next, we’re off to the county of Bedfordshire, where you will find the town of Luton. This commuter town has seen a slight boom in recent years, with a rise in house prices and general demand. One of the reasons for its renewed popularity is down to commute times into London.
A train from Luton to the capital only takes 30 minutes, which is less than some commutes within London itself. Property types vary with a mixture of period homes and new builds. Europe is also practically right on your doorstep thanks to Luton Airport. A quick weekend in Malaga, anyone?
Luton’s rise in popularity hasn't impacted rental prices. A one bedroom flat averages £650 per month, a two-bedroom property fetches £875 per month, and homes with three or more bedrooms range between £1,050 and £1,350.
In 2017, Northampton’s property market was the fastest moving in Britain. The travel times into London are pretty rapid too. Northampton mainline station will get you into Euston in less than an hour. Some journeys only take 45 minutes.
But, what else is on offer in Northampton? It’s known for its acres of green spaces and a redeveloped waterside marina. Major regeneration has been extensive, and there is plenty more to come. Property types come in many forms, from new builds to period cottages.
A one-bedroom property in Northampton will cost you around £650 per month, two-bedroom homes achieve in the region of £790, and homes with three or more beds range between £970 and £2,300.
The West Sussex town of Crawley is located 28 miles from Charing Cross and takes just over half an hour by train into London. It’s also less than six miles to Gatwick Airport and 22 miles to Brighton, one of the UK’s most popular seaside locations.
Such proximity to London, Gatwick and Brighton make Crawley the commuter town of options. Monday could be a beach day, Tuesday might be a city day, and why not make Wednesday fly-away day?
The rental prices are pretty affordable too. A one-bedroom home averages £850 per month, a two-bedroom property fetches in the region of £1,000, and properties with three or more bedrooms range between £1,280 and £2,500.
Lastly, we’re off to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, where train journeys to London take a mere 30 minutes. When you’re not commuting to the capital, you can enjoy a buzzy town centre, Victorian homes and a quaint market that takes place on cobbled streets in the old town.
Like most commuter towns, High Wycombe has seen its fair share of redevelopment as it has grown in popularity. It’s also located in the heart of the Chilterns, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), so get ready to enjoy nearby villages with scenic walk and cycle paths.
The average price for a one-bedroom property in High Wycombe is £900 per month, a two-bedroom home will cost you around £1,200, and properties with three or more bedrooms fetch between £1,400 and £3,500.
All aboard the London train
Even if you’re completely enamoured by London, these days you can live a little bit further out from the city yet still enjoy everything it has to offer. So whether you want to live in the heart of the action or travel into it with minimal fuss, there are plenty of options. Importantly, you can leave London without missing out on any of the great things the capital has to offer.
Still undecided? Then here is our guide again on where to live in London.