By Santhosh Gowda, Chairman, Strawberry Star Group
UK’s top buy-to-let postcode Luton, London’s top commuter belt town, has now emerged as the most affordable town for house buyers, especially first-time buyers!
According to a latest research by Lloyds Bank, working professionals in Central London can save an average of £483,342 by commuting up to an hour each day to the UK capital’s commuter belt towns instead of renting homes in London. In fact, Luton is just 23 minutes from King’s Cross, St. Pancras International station, by train.
House prices in a number of towns around an hour’s train journey away from the Capital (including Basingstoke, Crawley, Gravesend, Windsor and Northampton) are on average around £325,091 – a whopping £483,342 lower than the average of £808,434 for a property within London travelcard zones 1 and 2. This is also significantly lower (£202,424 or 38 per cent) than the average property price in London zones 3 to 6.
Of all these commuter towns, Luton is the most affordable with the fastest commute to Central London, with an average house price of £261,725 which is 5.4 times the average earnings, Lloyds Bank said.
“Buying a home in Central London is out of reach for many where house prices are around 16 times the average UK wage. In almost all towns in this survey, housing affordability is significantly greater with a London salary compared to what can be earned locally and for commuters with up to an hour’s journey,” the research observed.
Strawberry Star Group is of the similar view that first-time buyers are better off with buying homes in the London commuter belt towns instead of the UK capital. We aim to bridge the gap between demand and supply through our inclusive volume housing vision – making home-ownership achievable for all categories of buyers.
Recently, we launched our maiden integrated mixed-use development LU2ON in Luton through Strawberry Star Homes. We intend to bring the style and excitement of London living to its outer boroughs and key commuting towns, helping to address the growing demand from those priced out of the capital.
The development is located a short walk from Luton Airport Parkway Station, which connects to King’s Cross St. Pancras in under 23 minutes by train. Luton is also well connected by the newly launched Thameslink railway, which offers frequent direct train travel to other London terminals and centres including London Bridge, Blackfriars and London Farringdon in less than an hour.
LU2ON is just first of the several such developments planned by Strawberry Star Homes. Over the next seven years (by 2025), we plan to deliver 4,000 London-style new homes across London zones 3 – 9 and the commuter belt. The company will use a mix of traditional and novel construction technologies, including elements of modular homes, to deliver quality homes at lower capital values for aspiring buyers.
Our housing vision is perfectly aligned with the current residential property market findings and we have forayed into LU2ON at an appropriate time.
Source: Lloyds Banking Group