Commuter hotspots: new-build homes in market towns within easy reach of London


uring the first six months of this year Londoners bought almost 33,000 homes outside the capital, tempted by both the lower price point and the idea of an easier life in a town or village.

These exiles are spending significantly less than they did a year ago, because of spiralling interest rates. The average London leaver is paying £430,000 for their new home.

A record number of first-time buyers have also been buying property outside the capital, according to research by Hamptons. Almost one in three homes sold to those leaving London went to novice buyers who have decided to take their first step onto the property ladder beyond the M25.

The research also shows that the majority of these buyers have opted to remain in the south east, so that they can get back into London when they need to.

Next month, the Evening Standard New Homes Awards will honour the best new homes in sought-after Home Counties locations, because a move to the country doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy an old country cottage…


If it’s kerb appeal you are after, then the village of Sutton Valence certainly passes the Instagram test, with its rows of slightly wonky, weatherboarded cottages and evocative ruined castle.

It’s perched high on the Greensand Ridge, so the views across the Vale of Kent are simply spectacular.

The village has a few pubs and is six miles from Maidstone, which has everything else you could need, including trains to London. Trains to St Pancras International or Victoria take just over an hour. You can get to Charing Cross in a similar amount of time from Headcorn, which is four miles away.

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