Commuter homes in the Surrey Hills:Help to Buy flats at Leithfield Park are within a 60-minute commute of London

Homes in semi-rural commuter locations are proving firm favourites with the capital's homebuyers, and could result in savings of up to £450,000...

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Ever since railway expansion led to the creation of suburbs and commuter towns, Londoners have been grappling with the house price/distance relationship. Where can I buy a good-value home that has a tolerable journey time to the capital? 

House prices tend to decline steadily as travel times increase. Moreover, the same type of property — say, interwar semis — can be cheaper to the east of London than to the west. 

Sixty minutes one way is the time threshold most commuters want to stick to. Commuting for an hour to your job in the capital typically saves you £450,000 on the price of a house, according to research by Lloyds Bank.

Average property prices drop from £741,919 in central London to £294,903 in commuter towns an hour away. Places such as Oxford, Ipswich, Peterborough, Southampton and Cambridge are all about one hour by train from London.

Yet attractive semi-rural locations that combine good schools, open space and less crime remain favourites. 

Sold on Surrey: Lisa Walsh and husband William bought a semi in Leithfield Park

Lisa Walsh, 29, who works in HR in London, travels 54 minutes by train from Godalming in Surrey to Waterloo. She and husband William upsized from Woking, which has a shorter commute, to a three-bedroom semi at Leithfield Park, formerly Milford Hospital, in the Surrey Hills.

“It’s a five-minute walk to the train station. We could only afford one of the smaller properties at the development but we’re surrounded by impressive four- and fivebedroom family homes that cost from £800,000.

The couple paid £409,000 and used Help to Buy, the lowdeposit scheme. Leithfield Park has an “outstanding” rating in the Built for Life awards, endorsed by the Government.

David Wilson Homes, the developer, is offering off-plan buyers various design options and room-configuration choices. Call 0844 5566155.

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