Better value rental homes outside of London
Even when commuter fares are factored in, former London tenants are still finding better value rental homes in these home county areas.
Generation Rent is voting with its feet, moving out of expensive London flats and into home counties rentals for better value rental homes and quality accommodation — finding that even when commuter fares are added in, they are still better off.
Twenty- and thirtysomethings, who once only moved out of London to buy, now need cheaper rents if they are to stand any chance of raising the deposit for their own home, according to exclusive research by Hamptons International.
Young marrieds, meanwhile, are moving out for more space and a better quality of life for their children, but at the same rent.
The data reveals that most of these rental exiles, thought to number about 50,000 a year, stay within a short hop of central London.
The most popular locations are within the M25. More than two thirds of all homes rented in Spelthorne, a swathe of Surrey along the M3 corridor, went to people leaving London.
Trains from Sunbury, one of Spelthorne’s more popular towns, take 48 minutes to London and an annual season ticket costs from £2,432.
This cost, however, is countered by a typical local two-bedroom flat costing £1,200 a month to rent, with a four-bedroom house at £1,800-£2,000.
In Ashford, also in Spelthorne, Kingsley Okoli, a lettings specialist at SJ Smith estate agents, has noticed a flow of young families priced out of more expensive parts of south-west London and in need of a larger home.
“They are looking for good transport links back into London, good schools, and a nice local area,” says Okoli, who estimates that a three-bedroom house in Ashford would cost between £1,400 and £1,700 a month.
The next most popular renting location is Epping Forest, where Londoners can swap modest city parks for almost 6,000 acres of ancient woodland as well as a range of villages in rural south-west Essex.
Parts of Epping are served by the Central line, but commuters can make faster progress on mainline services from, for example, Chingford, where trains to Liverpool Street take less than half an hour and an annual season ticket costs from £1,692.
More than half of the homes rented in Chingford are let to Londoners, who should expect to pay about £1,300 a month for a two-bedroom flat and £2,100 a month for a four-bedroom house.
“In the last 18 months we have definitely seen a shift,” says Roberto Lagna-Fietta, lettings manager at John D Wood & Co in Loughton.
“People are moving along the Central line to get more for their money. They are going from a one or two bedroom flat to a house.
“I have just let to a couple of young professionals who have moved out of Stoke Newington because it is just too much money and they want a better quality of life, especially if they have children.”
The other key locations highlighted in today’s study include affluent commuter honeypots such as Sevenoaks in Kent with its grammar schools and St Albans in Hertfordshire, as well as good-value options such as Broxbourne in Hertfordshire and Thurrock in Essex.