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Six hotspots for London leavers

According to the Financial Times, 60,000 people exit London every year to start a new life outside the capital.

Two important reasons for this are London’s high house prices, which enable many people to buy a larger home in leafier surroundings, and the excellent schools outside London. But most ‘escapees’ are commuters, so a good train service back into London is a must-have. Here are six popular locations among ex-Londoners that are approximately an hour by train from London.

Seaside: Worthing

Fastest train: 1 hour 16 minutes (Victoria)

Average price discount vs London: 58%

James Kerman, Director of Winkworth Worthing says Worthing is increasingly popular with London arrivals because it’s homes are up to 40% less expensive than Brighton and it offers solid period houses, and has three train stations. Many buyers seek out the streets closest to the seafront while East Worthing is popular because it’s closest to London. West Worthing has the best schools. Between £475k and £650k buys a substantial four-bedroom home. The most sought-after streets include Grand Avenue and Heene Road.

Historic: Canterbury

Fastest train: 54 minutes (St Pancras)

Average price discount vs London: 57%

Matthew Harvey, Director of Winkworth Canterbury says up to 70% of his buyers are from London and that this is driven by the high-speed train link from St Pancras, which is due to get quicker, and will put Canterbury even more firmly on the commuter belt map. London buyers are looking at properties between £500k and £700k which is good value compared to other commuter towns. Most popular areas are within the city walls and St Dunstan’s near the station, as well as South Canterbury Road near the hospital, and Nackington Road.

County town: Lewes

Fastest train: 1 hour (Victoria)

Average price discount vs London: 34%

Angela Ramsey, Director of Winkworth Lewes says the town has increased in popularity among London families over the past five years because it’s pretty, has brilliant schools and is near Brighton’s shops and beaches, but also has an artistic reputation. Most buyers have around £750,000 to spend which secures a three or four bedroom detached house outside the town.

Outer suburbs: Cheam/Worcester Park

Fastest train: 32 minutes (Waterloo)

Average price discount vs London: 29%

Shaun Amner, Director of Winkworth Cheam and Worcester Park says both Cheam and neighbour Worcester Park are popular among central London leavers. Worcester Park is the more affordable; its western side is the pricier although £450,000 buys a nice family home. In Cheam, its north side is more affordable while to the south the widest choice is up to £1.3m. Popular roads in North Cheam are those bordering Nonsuch Park where semis go for £700k-£750k. In south Cheam, the sought-after roads are Sandy Lane, Burdon Lane, Onslow Avenue, and in particular The Drive and Golf Side. In Worcester Park it’s Kingsmead Road, Oaks Avenue, Delta, Salisbury Road and Tudor Avenue.

Small city: Winchester

Fastest train: 1 hour (Waterloo)

Average price discount vs London: 28%

A fifth of all houses sold in Winchester go to SW Londoners, says Bill Jarvis, Director of Winkworth Winchester. Most are bought for between £600k and £800k but there’s a strong £1m+ market too. It’s usual to live near the centre of Winchester and be near the railway station, and for many the area’s excellent state and private schools are a big draw. Popular areas include Hyde, Fulflood and St Cross or further out, Chilbolton Avenue and Littleton village.

Market town: Farnham

Fastest train: 53 minutes (Waterloo)

Average price discount vs London: 13%

Almost all the homes sold in Farnham go to Londoners arriving from south and central London including first and second time buyers, says Stephen Tarrant, Director of Winkworth Farnham. Many have budgets of £800k or more. Most popular is south Farnham for second time buyers and the town’s central streets for first time buyers. The sought-after areas include Little Austins, Mavins Road and Moor Park Way.