Six great locations for commutable family home

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31 May 2016

Six great locations for commutable family homes

Author: Antony Gibson

Reading, Farnham, Maidenhead, Basingstoke, Wokingham and West Drayton, are all recognised as being friendly and lively towns to live in, but what else do they have in common? They are all within a one hour commute of London.

With the UK’s capital becoming one of most highly sought-after cities to live in, despite the house prices in London being the most over-valued of any major city in the world, it’s no wonder that towns within a commutable distance of the capital are fast becoming some of the most popular areas to live in. 

Romans’ experts take a closer look at these commutable family hotspots:

Commutable town infographic

Reading

Reading is a lively town with lots to offer; its top attractions include Wellington Country Park, the Madejski Stadium, and of course The Oracle - a large indoor shopping and leisure mall which is home to 108 stores and services. Reading offers something for everyone, with shops, bars and restaurants in abundance; this busy atmosphere, coupled with a 50 minute direct train to London Paddington, makes this town a hotspot for commuters. The area also comprises of ten highly rated schools, making it an ideal town for families that want good performing schools as well as a number of amenities on their doorstep.

Furthermore, home owners were celebrating in 2014 when the £14.8billion Crossrail scheme was extended to reach Reading. From 2019, the cross-London fast-train service will also include the busy Berkshire commuter town – giving a fast track for workers in the City. As well as benefiting commuters, the improved travel links are also likely to push up house prices in Reading by as much as 54%, according to some reports.

Farnham

The market town of Farnham is fast becoming one of the most sought-after family towns to live in due to it being situated in the picturesque Surrey Hills, offering a plentiful selection of charming shops and restaurants. Farnham has fantastic school catchment areas, with 13 outstanding and good Ofsted rated schools.

In comparison to Reading, house prices are substantially more expensive, with semi-detached properties on average being £410,000 compared to £332,000. However, if you’re looking for stunning scenery and a more rural lifestyle within reach of London it can’t be beaten.  

Maidenhead

Maidenhead is one of the most desirable towns to live in the south east of the UK, lying just south of the River Thames on the main road and rail routes between London and Reading. House prices in Maidenhead are roughly twice the national average, with detached properties being the most prevalent, and it’s no wonder due its prime location and enviable reputation for high standards of education.

The area is expected to dramatically increase in popularity with the arrival of the Crossrail, and according to a recent report in The Telegraph, Maidenhead properties will see a price increase of 46% over the next five years! London Paddington is just 25 minutes away, if you opt for a fast track train, junction 8/9 of the M4 is close by providing road links to London and the West Country, and Heathrow Airport is just 20 minutes away by car.

Basingstoke  

Basingstoke is fast becoming one of the most popular locations in Hampshire thanks to the fantastic transport links, variety of large multinational corporations and brilliant entertainment facilities on offer. The town is already hugely popular among young professionals thanks to the job opportunities, shopping facilities and great array of modern apartments in the town centre. The town also attracts a lot of families due to the surrounding idyllic countryside and character village homes.

The average value of a detached property currently lies at £379,000 making it more affordable than a few of the surrounding areas. Basingstoke allows you to easily commute to Reading, London, Winchester, Southampton or Oxford. The South Western mainline railway runs through the centre of town, and the fastest train to London Waterloo takes just 45 minutes.

Wokingham

Wokingham has been named as one of the top places to live in the UK according to The Sunday Times Best Places to Live in Britain survey, and it’s not hard to see why! The market town is popular among families due to the high standard of the local schooling, with nine outstanding primary and secondary schools nearby, as rated by Ofsted. Equally, commuters are attracted to the Berkshire town thanks to the good transport links, with regular trains reaching Paddington in less than 50 minutes, and the M4 nearby.

Property prices are less expensive than Farnham and Maidenhead but more expensive than West Drayton, Reading and Basingstoke. Although transport links to London may not be the fastest, Wokingham maintains its popularity among families thanks to the great choice of local schooling, property and amenities.

West Drayton

Along with Reading and Maidenhead, West Drayton is also reportedly going to be among the areas to experience the greatest increase in house prices as a result of Crossrail. The town in the London Borough of Hillingdon, Middlesex, offers the shortest commute of all the locations covered, of just 25 minutes, making this town ideal for those that work in the capital.

Interestingly, over the last year, the majority of sales were flats, selling for an average of £200,000, suggesting that the area is more popular with commuters than families. However, the area offers five outstanding and good schools as rated by Ofsted and there is a good selection of bars and restaurants. The Grand Union Canal cuts through the northern part of the area making for some very pleasant walks. This town could definitely be the one to watch with the arrival of the Crossrail!

For more information about buying property in any of the locations listed above contact your local Romans branch or search online at romans.co.uk.

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