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Rebeccajohnston

Is Areas Immediately Outside London Booming?

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Hi All,

We have put an offer on a house in Harrow, but the seller and the EA are being very difficult (not willing to sort out fixes etc).

I am wondering if it is only Harrow that is so hot, that makes everyone forget their manners (not trying to make friends, so not bothered, but a little ticked off).

I thought London is slow (or is it the Summer effect?), we are seriously looking elsewhere as we might be able to get better value for money. My question is:

1) Is outer London - such as Berkshire, Hertforshire, Surrey and Kent as hot?

2) Would it get hotter as Londoners move out, or would it follow London and the madness stop?

Thanks

Becs

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I don't know Harrow well, but I have always thought that it actually seems pretty good value given it's proximity to London and varied transport links into the centre.

Where else would you be prepared to look for better value? Surrey would a be non-starter, I would have thought. I am in Surbiton, which is a zone further out than Harrow and is reliant on SW Trains only for connections to the centre. If that is not running, it is very difficult to get to work. Even that seems vastly more expensive than Harrow, and if you move further out you just end up with a bigger season ticket cost and still have the SW Trains problem without much saving in price.

There might be some options in Kent, but Tonbridge and Ashford are probably the most commutable options that are as cheap/cheaper than Harrow.

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We are actually prepared to look around Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Hertfordshire. We have been living in Harrow for a while and that's why we looked locally. Transport is not a huge issue as zone 4, 5 and 6 per year is not a massive different and if life quality would be better I am happy to look further.

I sense worries re. Surrey, any reason I shouldn't be looking?

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I sense worries re. Surrey, any reason I shouldn't be looking?

The areas of Surrey that are within the London zones are very expensive compared to Harrow and reliant on a single train company to get you in to town. The quality of life is arguably better, but unless there is something you are specifically looking for, then why pay more?

Further out into Surrey 'proper', and the train fare goes up considerably, you are still reliant on the same train company, and most of the areas that are within about 40 minutes of London (Esher, Weybridge, Guildford) are super-expensive anyway.

It starts getting cheaper as you get out to the Hampshire border, but then you are looking at a long train journey and a massive season ticket cost.

Edited by worried1

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We started looking in London and then, as it was out of our price range, looking at Surrey, Bucks, Hertfordshire and other areas commutable. Got a map and found the commutable distances and looked. That was in around 2006/7. Many thousands of people did exactly the same thing.

All the areas we looked at were being affected by the London bubble. I've not seen any sign of a crash in prices in any of the areas that I monitor. Yes, over the year there have been small downward changes but nothing that suddenly makes the properties we would like affordable.

In all the commutable areas we looked at the situation remains the same. The people with the houses are keeping them. If they can't sell them at exorbitant prices then they just let them out. The developers are the same. They set a high asking price, then if they don't sell they either rent them to private tenants, go to the shared ownership scheme or the local council. The odd forced seller or repossessed property does come up but these go quickly and expensively.

You are years too late to be asking the question about areas commutable to London sadly. There are pockets here and there. Been threads before about specifically which areas of London or areas of the South East that posters could still afford to but in. They do exist but the question is - do you want to at this time?

Edited by Flopsy

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Thanks both, I see what you mean, and with MMR, we have to disclose our train costs, so tickets that are too expensive is out of the question (rather pay mortgage). I guess you are right, if people can afford to live in their own house and not priced out by interest rate or losing a job, they would try and keep it. We have thought about Barking and Dagenham, but I don't think they are particularly good value. By the way, what are your thoughts about price per sq.ft and areas, some areas such as Redhill seems to have very competitive price per sq.ft, comparing to less desirable places in East London / Essex that is close to London (Chelmsford is nice but train ticket is way to expensive).

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Redhill is not as nice as neighbour Reigate, lots of people live in Reigate but commute from Redhill, but Reigate has also had it's property prices hiked, and Redhill has had a bit of an uplift because of that, but not major.

Remember that this decision is a very expensive one - use your weekends to travel to the places and ask around friends/work and speak to people that live there (not EA's!) - We've have narrowed down our search to a town (not Reigate/Redhill, although we did spend a couple of weekends there and know people that live there), and booked a hotel for the weekend to view properties, as well as going down most weekends for the day to look. The hotel was a good thing, I had a wander around at 10pm on a Friday and see certain areas in a different light. I have done the 'commute' a few times as well.

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If you're going to spend so much time commuting doesn't it make more sense to house share mon-thurs and have a home to go back to fri-sun?

you could get a cracking house somewhere like Dover or Folkestone (kent) then take the high speed train once per week.

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Have you considered Bexley? It's easy to commute to London. Yes there are areas that are not that nice but there are decent places in Bexley.

Google Index of Multiple Depravation Map London to find sites that map the index using Google Map or some other mappin engine.

UK Data Explorer is also a good one if you're trying to find areas to live.

all those data won't be able to give you the Vibe information that you need to visit :)

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