Commuter Belt 2.0

Research by James Pendleton estate agents suggests that house prices in a new ‘outer commuter belt’ around London are rising more quickly than the inner belt, as they get sucked into London’s commuting ecosystem. What does this mean? The quick conclusion is that more buyers are getting priced out of the capital. This might be true. However, equally one needs to look at the work-life trade-offs implicit in this trend. It might suggest that workers are sticky to London and choose the quality of life reduction caused by longer commutes to the alternative of relocating to a new city. However, it might also reflect the opposite conclusion; that workers are actively moving further out of densified London and its packed Range Rover belt in favour of greater environmental amenity. As transport routes get quicker (depending on which rail franchise you suffer at the hands of) and working from home increases in popularity (reducing total weekly commute times) I’d anticipate a continued outward expansion of our crammed cities, with properties in areas of restricted development, in particular, gaining in value.