London's commuter towns within 30 minutes of Waterloo: Worplesdon and Farncombe

The towns and villages along the London-Portsmouth line are so wealthy it's known as the "affluence artery", we reveal which neighbourhoods offer the best value.

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Trains heading south-west out of Waterloo station cut through some of the loveliest open countryside in Britain before arriving at the coast. The towns and villages along this London-Portsmouth line are so wealthy that it has become known as the UK's "affluence artery", attracting well-paid professionals from the capital.

There are seven stations within an hour of London along this line and, while houses nearby are not exactly cheap, new research published by Savills estate agents reveals which neighbourhoods offer the best value. We focus on two of these stations — one offers the fastest commute while the other is in an area with the best promise of house price growth.



Handy Worplesdon
For commuters who want the shortest journey into the capital, the quiet village of Worplesdon in Surrey is the place to start house hunting. Trains to Waterloo take only 31 minutes — quicker than most Tube journeys from beyond Zone 2 — and an annual season ticket costs £3,140.

Average properties in Worplesdon cost £504,942, up an impressive 19.7 per cent in the past year — the best performance of all the locations studied in today's research. Since 2007, prices have risen by 23.5 per cent.

Buyers pay a premium in Worplesdon, which is set in open common land and close to the shops and restaurants of Guildford, three miles away. The village primary school is rated "good" by the Ofsted schools watchdog.

Zo Khan, sales manager at Seymours estate agents, says: "It's a semi-rural spot for people who want to return to a really quiet environment."

Buying here would cost about £375,000 to £400,000 for a two-bedroom cottage, while a four- to five-bedroom detached house would cost between £550,000 and £700,000.

Flourishing Farncombe
Significantly more economical, and slightly livelier, is another Surrey village, Farncombe, with an average property price of £325,597, up 10.6 per cent in the past year and 28.4 per cent since 2007, the strongest rebound from the recession of any of the stations surveyed. Commuter trains take 43 minutes to reach London, and an annual season ticket costs £3,524.

Farncombe has a parade of shops, plus several pubs, and is only a mile out of Godalming for places to eat and drink. Its infant and nursery school is rated "good" by Ofsted. Farncombe has stunning countryside and is close to Loseley Park, a 16th-century stately home with wonderful gardens to explore.

"We also have the Winkworth Arboretum and a swanky new leisure centre," adds Lynne Dyer, senior property consultant at Gascoigne-Pees estate agents. "It's great for bringing up children and for having dogs."

Dyer estimates that a two-bedroom Victorian cottage in the village would cost about £320,000 to £345,000, and a lovely 16th-century beamed house with four bedrooms would cost £500,000 to £600,000.

Farncombe has some pretty parts, but its relatively low prices reflect the fact that it is not a "chocolate-box" village. However, Dyer sees Londoners creating gentrification. "They are buying a little cottage that is a bit run down, adding a few coats of Farrow & Ball paint, a couple of bay trees and some gravel, and suddenly you have a very pretty home," she says. 


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