The M25, one of the busiest motorways in the UK, has been opened for 30 years this weekend. Its 117 miles of motorway that form a ring-road around Greater London are also home to some of the fastest-rising areas in terms of house prices, in the country.
According to the latest data from Halifax, house prices have risen on average 551 per cent - a monthly increase of £905 - in the surrounding towns since the motorway opened in 1986.
At Junction 23, Barnet is the Hertfordshire town that has seen the biggest hikes, with a huge increase of 674 per cent taking house prices from an average of £70,000 to £540,000 in the past 30 years.
Prices in the leafy north London town, which also sits across travel Zones 5 and 6, have risen by £135,000 in the last five-years alone.
Prices in neighbouring St Albans have risen almost as quickly - from £67,000 to £502,000 - representing growth of 647 per cent. The Roman city is further away from London but has direct train links to St Pancras in 20 minutes.
Hertfordshire attracts families looking for homes surrounded by open countryside with fast commutes, good schools and high-streets rammed with alfresco cafés, boutiques and restaurants.
It's also home to the town with the most expensive average house prices along the London Orbital., Ricksmansworth, which has average house prices of £552,000. In contrast, when the motorway opened 30 years ago, Leatherhead in Surrey held top position with average house prices of £88,000.
M25 towns vs inner London
House prices along the M25 have grown faster than the UK average, however haven't kept up with the pace of growth throughout inner London.
“Towns have, on average, outperformed the South East region as a whole with an average price £52,000 higher, yet prices have failed to keep pace with the dramatic rise in property values in the capital over the past three decades," says Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.
"As a result, towns around the M25 are now typically significantly lower than in London despite being on a par when the motorway opened.”