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Updated: How Much Does It Cost To Buy Outside London?

BethPH
By BethPH Last edited 6 months ago

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Updated: How Much Does It Cost To Buy Outside London?
Cheapest two bed flats outside London. Picture by Abi Brady used under Creative Commons

This time last year, we found out just how cheap it could be to buy property outside London. That is, if you don't mind a commute and aren't overly picky about your location.

Then along came Brexit, an interest rate cut and a collective throwing up of hands about the potential effect on property prices. So has it got any cheaper to buy outside the capital?

We've applied the same criteria as we did last year for ease of comparison — the cheapest two-bedroom flat within a mile of the nearest station, exclusive of utility bills or council tax. We've also excluded the desirability factor; after all, one person's Brightlingsea bungalow is another's luxury seaside residence.

The monthly cost is a standard repayment mortgage assuming a 10% deposit and interest rate of 4.15% (based on the top five UK lenders). We also worked out the average price of the same type of flat for the county based on our cheapest property and the most expensive we could find on Rightmove.

Essex

Once we'd bypassed the proliferation of park homes, chalets and lodges (static caravans and prefab builds in non-estate agent speak), Clacton-on-Sea was a winner again with this two bed maisonette for £89,995 (£435 per month). At 0.7 miles it's easily walkable from Clacton station on the Abellio Greater Anglia line into Liverpool Street, with a season ticket cost of £606 per month.

To give you an idea of just how much more expensive it can be to live closer, check out this place in Purfleet for £190,000. That's over a hundred grand more, plus a monthly season ticket on the c2c into Fenchurch Street.

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £1,041

Percent change from 2015: 17% increase

Average Essex property price: £595,000

Kent

It's Chatham this year which gives us Kent's cheapest two bed at £70,000. At £338 per month, it's 0.2 miles from Chatham station, which is on the Southeastern Trains route into Victoria. The monthly season ticket is £439, which gives us a cheaper monthly cost than neighbouring Essex.

If Chatham's a bit far for you, Chislehurst is closer, but ouch. At £675,000, that's more than half a million quid's worth of shorter train journey.

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £777

Percent change from 2015: 11% decrease

Average Kent property price: £710,000

Photo: Simon Crubellier.

Surrey

From being last year's most expensive, the county of leather and willow could become a contender this year. This two bed flat is a snip at £140,000 (£676 a month) and even comes with its own garage, should you wish to take a leaf out of a Hackney landlord's book. It's 0.6 miles from Horley station, which is on the line nebulously operated by Southern trains, and costs £382.90 per month to get to Victoria. Still, it's only one stop to Gatwick if you'd rather just leave the country than try and get into London.

Want to be closer to the capital? Try Epsom, at £274,950 (£1,327 per month plus £227 to travel).

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £1,058

Percent change from 2015: 12% decrease

Average Surrey property price: £982,000

Berkshire

Newbury again offers up Berkshire's cheapest property, with this place on at £124,950 (£603 per month). It's pretty close to the station too, on the line operated by Great Western Railway into Paddington. A monthly season ticket is an eye-watering £514.60 though.

Further in on the same line is Slough, where you can pick up this two bed for £215,000 (£1,038 per month) and your travel is a bit cheaper at £315.30 for a monthly season ticket.

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £1,117.60

Percent change from 2015: 3% decrease

Average Berkshire property price: £887,475

Photo by RachelH

Buckinghamshire

Bletchley is once again the cheapest in Bucks. This flat is on the market for £124,500 (£601 per month) and it's just a mile from the station. London Midland operates the line into Euston and the monthly season ticket is £499.20.

As before, we're pretending the tube doesn't extend as far as Buckinghamshire, so getting on at High Wycombe instead would set you back £401.30 for the train and £200,000 (£966 per month) for a roof over your head.

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £1,100

Percent change from 2015: 7% increase

Average Buckinghamshire property price: £562,250

Hertfordshire

Last year it was Royston, but this year it's Stevenage which gives us our cheapy Hertfordshire pad, though at £179,995 (£869 per month) we're stretching the definition of 'cheap' somewhat. Our property is a mile from the station, on the line into Moorgate operated by Thameslink and Great Northern. The season ticket is £462.80.

As Stevenage isn't actually that far outside London, if you wanted to live closer, you'd end up looking at somewhere like Ally Pally, where a two bed would set you back £359,995 (£1,738 per month) but just £146 for your train journey.

Cost to buy and travel monthly: £1,331

Percent change from 2015: 13% increase

Average Hertfordshire property price: £687,498

How does all that compare against last year's figures? Here's a handy chart for you.

Our cheapest home county to buy a property and travel into London is Kent, while the most expensive is Hertfordshire. Essex has seen the biggest gain since 2015, though historically, it's been a lot cheaper than elsewhere, so it looks like it's catching up with the rest of the market. Time to break open that piggy bank.

Last Updated 28 October 2016