London remains one of the biggest property investment destinations in the world, attracting a wide range of national and international investors.
But with historically low buy-to-let returns, especially when compared with other parts of Britain, some investors are looking to diversify their portfolios by investing further afield on the outskirts of the capital.
For those looking for alternative property investments to London, SevenCapital has drawn up a shortlist of seven areas, with commuter towns just outside the capital proving popular.
Offering better affordability, growth and good accessibility, these areas have grown significantly in popularity amongst buyers and renters alike over recent years and, as such, have emerged as top investment hotspots, according to SevenCapital.
Bracknell represents one of the most exciting new markets within the London Commuter Belt. Sitting at the heart of the UK’s biggest tech hub and home to global brand such as HP, Dell, Honda and 3M, Bracknell offers its own thriving and fast-growing economy as well as easy access to central London. The town is also reaping the benefits of a £770 million town centre regeneration program, which has already seen the opening of a £240 million shopping destination, The Lexicon, which has transformed the town centre.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 22%
Average rental yields: 4.52% to 5.75%
A commercial powerhouse and established commuter destination, Slough remains a property hotspot due to increased affordability, improved transport links and a £1 billion regeneration project taking shape. With property prices currently sitting at £379,254, Slough remains much more affordable than the London average of £628,416 and has seen much better growth over the last five years – 19% in Slough versus 12% in London.
Such is Slough’s attraction, nearly 46% of homes in the town are now let to London renters and with Crossrail on the horizon, that figure only looks set to move upwards.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 19.91%
Average rental yields: 4.09% to 7.11%
Rated the 3rd fastest growing town in 2018, Basingstoke has seen impressive price rises of 219% over the last 20 years.
One of the top digital economies outside London, Basingstoke is home to 7,000 businesses including global names such as BNP Paribas, Fujitsu and The AA.
As a key destination within the London Commuter Belt, Basingstoke also offers direct access to London, Reading and Southampton in just 45 minutes. This makes it highly-attractive for London professionals that want affordability without losing accessibility to the capital.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 17%
Average rental yields: 5.6%
Barking & Dagenham
With a population of 185,911 at the 2011 census, Barking and Dagenham is estimated to have around 212,000 as of last year, with this growth easily attributable to exciting plans to reinvent both areas.
More than £3bn is currently being invested across both areas, which will see Barking transformed to create a New York-style ‘mini-Manhattan’ complete with thousands of new homes, a central park, a redevelopment of the train station and a rejuvenated shopping centre. In Dagenham, it’s a similar story, with investment introducing a new train station, offering a 20-minute commute to the City, and more than 30,000 new homes built by 2030.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 23%
Average rental yields: 5.22% to 6.23%
Just a stone’s throw away from Gatwick Airport, Horley has emerged as one of the most desirable investment locations in Surrey in recent years, as professionals have been priced out of the market surrounding areas such as Guildford – which has an average house price of nearly £200,000 more.
Its location means travel is a synch, with residents able to reach the airport in around five minutes, and London Victoria just 30 minutes via a direct train route, making it popular with commuters.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 48%
Average rental yields: 4.52% to 7.2%
Home to a major airport and sitting just 22 minutes by train from London, Luton’s excellent transport links make it a popular, and affordable, town for commuters and business alike. With £1.5bn investment plans announced in 2015 to create new jobs, an Enterprise Zone and a variety of mixed-use developments, plus the University of Bedfordshire providing a sizeable student population, it’s no surprise this town has enjoyed some serious house price growth over the past five years.
Property Price Growth since 2014: 48%