The London commuter belt is expanding. More professionals are opting to commute in from suburban and rural areas by train rather than opting for living in central London.
Previously overlooked residential areas are receiving a surge of interest. Many areas outside central London offer better value for money and upgraded trains and improved transport links mean more areas are becoming popular with commuters. For example, the train commute from Epsom to Waterloo is just 35 minutes.
Many suburban areas have received investment to improve their public spaces, rejuvenate their town centres and build modern housing. Croydon, which is only a 20 minute train journey to London Victoria, is one such area which is providing more attractive alternatives to some of the more traditional commuter locations. At SilverDoor we’ve seen a significant increase in serviced apartment bookings in such areas.
People working in London are choosing suburban areas for the space, parks and attractive town centres to separate themselves from the chaotic hustle and bustle of city life. Moving to the relative peace and tranquillity of the suburbs can positively affect wellbeing and a better work-life balance is a huge draw for professionals willing to commute. Epsom, for example, regularly reaches the top 5 in quality of life surveys. Due to technological innovation professionals can now use their commute time productively, to read and reply to emails for example, allowing professionals to leave work earlier and finish work on the train journey home.
So how do the numbers actually stack up? Can it really still be cheaper to live in the suburbs once the cost of travel has been factored in? A recent survey revealed, for example, that Guildford has a monthly total cost of £718 combining rent (cost per room per month) and travel costs (rent: £409, travel: £309); whilst Kensington has an average higher cost of £854 (rent: £738, travel £116).
More and more professionals who are seeking better value for money and quality of life are opting to commute from areas such as Croydon and Epsom. Better value for money and work-life balance or a tube stop away from work? Can you see yourself trading in the central London life in favour of a suburban commute?