As more residents of the UK have learnt to appreciate the importance of space and the outdoors following months of lockdown, many city-workers are seeking commuter towns outside of London, with easy access into the city and the benefit of more space. But even as you make your way out of London, properties can be costly, especially with additional rail fares and living costs.
With this in mind, we reveal the most affordable places to live near London with the costs of rail fares for each location.
1. Luton, Bedfordshire
Luton is a large town with a population of about 258,000. It is host to Luton Airport and is close to Aylesbury, Stevenage, north-northwest of London and the south-east of Milton Keynes. Luton is in the process of becoming a Business Improvement District, bringing residents and visitors a wealth of even more restaurants, bars, cafes and clubs.
The cost of living in Luton is 4% less than the national average. Food, transportation and healthcare costs are slightly more affordable than the UK average, whilst housing costs are average in Luton.
The average house price is £273,765
The average cost of rent is £836 pcm
An annual season ticket from Luton to London will start at around £4,428
2. Basildon, Essex
Basildon is an ideal commuter town, with excellent rail and road links to provide easy access to Chelmsford and Southend, while a commute to London takes only around 30 minutes. Situated in the Green Belt, residents can enjoy a range of parks and nature reserves benefitting from true country living. Plenty of amenities are available and the town centre is soon to receive a £1bn investment for further improvements.
Basildon’s cost of living score is 3% less than the national average for food, transportation, health services, rent, utilities, taxes and miscellaneous items. Whilst housing costs are just below average, food, transportation and healthcare are amongst the lowest cost in the UK.
The average house price is £280,592
The average cost of rent is £1,038
An annual season ticket from Basildon to London will start at around £3,020
3. Billericay, Essex
Billericay is a small town of period homes, surrounded by mature woodland and nature reserves. As an ideal location for families, Billericay boasts excellent schools, a busy high street and also provides fantastic commuter links to London.
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The cost of living in this area is 1% less than the national average. Food, transportation and healthcare costs are more affordable than the average, but you will pay slightly more in housing costs.
The average house price is £465,440
The average cost of rent is £1,288 pcm
An annual season ticket from Billericay to London will start at around £3,696
4. Harlow, Essex
Surrounded by the beautiful countryside of Hertfordshire, Harlow provides the best of both worlds for city commuters. There are excellent road links on the M11, and it takes around 40 minutes from Harlow station to travel to the centre of London. Properties in the area are period homes in Old Harlow as well as more affordable terraced homes. Schools are good here and there are a wealth of shops, restaurants and cafes.
The cost of living in Harlow is average to the rest of the UK, with food, housing and healthcare only slightly below average in affordability than the national average.
The average house price is £315,111
The average cost of rent is £1,106 pcm, although Harlow does not have a large rental market
An annual season ticket from Harlow Town to London will start at around £3,544
5. Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend offers rivers, countryside, stunning architecture, historic villages, lots of amenities and plenty of events for residents and visitors to enjoy. This area is home to Gravesend Gurdwara; Europe’s largest Sikh place of worship where a warm welcome is guaranteed by the wonderful Sikh community. A journey into London from this area will only take you 24 minutes by train.
The cost of living in Gravesend is mostly average, with housing costs slightly higher than the UK average. Overall, Gravesend is only 1% more expensive than the national average.
The average house price is £331,074
The average cost of rent is £909 pcm
An annual season ticket from Gravesend to London will start at around £3,672