It would be reasonable to think that the lower your travelcard zone number, the faster your journey to central London — but a new study by Hamptons International proves you’d be wrong.
“London has grown by steadily swallowing up neighbouring towns and villages,” explains Hamptons research analyst David Fell. “Ruislip, Harrow, Barking and Croydon were all once distinct towns that now find themselves part of the capital.
“Their history means they have direct rail links into the heart of central London which cut straight across London’s inner suburbs. These connections mean it’s quicker to get home to some Zone 6 suburbs from central London than it is to many parts of Zone 2.”
In Zone 6 the choice includes positively rural Elstree & Borehamwood, leafy New Barnet and the increasingly affluent commuter hotspot of Surbiton.
The Zone 6 homes hotspots where you can get to central London in less than 30 minutes
|Station||Operator||Zone||Minutes into Zone 1||Zone 1 destination||Average price||12 month price growth|
|Surbiton||South West Trains||6||24||Vauxhall||£525,160||11.8%|
|Elstree & Borehamwood||Thameslink||6||24||Kings Cross St Pancras||£569,235||9.2%|
|New Barnet||Great Norther||6||25||Old Street||£486,243||14.8%|
|Enfield Lock||Greater Anglia||6||25||Liverpool Street||£334,854||12.7%|
|Romford||TFL Rail||6||26||Liverpool Street||£270,320||14.1%|
|West Drayton||Great Western Railway||6||27||Paddington||£314,660||14.4%|
In Upminster, the top performer in this zone, prices have grown a huge 19.2 per cent year on year, to an average £452,768. Journeys to Fenchurch Street take 24 minutes.
In Surbiton, Reuben Heward-Mills, operations director at Greenfield Estate Agents, says twenty- and thirtysomething City professionals are his main clientele and they buy two-bedroom period conversions or purpose-built flats for about £500,000. For families a four-bedroom house would cost about £700,000.
“Surbiton is more vibrant than you would think,” he adds. “There is very much a café culture, there are bistros and wine bars, and there is also green space and some very quiet areas.
“I used to live in Tooting and it is quicker to get into Waterloo from here. The train link is fundamental to Surbiton’s appeal. We have people who would rather live in Surbiton than Kingston because it has a faster train link into work.”