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Why are city dwellers moving to surburbia?

It's no secret that the past 18 months has seen a mass exodus from London, with people moving out of the city in search of space and beautiful surroundings. But while there has been a big focus on people moving to the country or coast, there's another significant move happening too, as people move from the inner city to the suburbs.


A move from Zone 2 to Zone 4 may not be as dramatic as leaving a London townhouse for a remote Cornish beach, but it’s a move that makes a lot of sense in many ways. 

Areas like Beckenham, just south of London, can present the perfect compromise between the urban and the rural. Mark Atterano of Winkworth’s local office notes: “Over the past five or six years, Beckenham has been attracting a growing number of buyers, which has increased significantly over the past year or so as Beckenham has firmly established itself on the Greater London property map. Now nearly 40% of our buyers come from areas like Clapham and Dulwich, as they find they can trade in their two bedroom flat for a four bedroom house for the same kind of money.”

North of London, Winkworth’s Barnet office covers a patch that has a rural feel with an urban location. In High Barnet, properties are large, often detached, with gardens that feel like they’re in the countryside. There are good schools and a buzzing high street – and the Northern Line takes you straight into the centre of London. Families might move to High Barnet from Hampstead or Highgate – not far in miles, but psychologically a move away from the stress of the city.

The appeal of the suburbs is not new, but as people are spending more time at home and less time commuting, there’s less reason for reluctant city-dwellers to stay in homes that are too small for them, however handy they might be for the tube. Beckenham is in fact the best-connected postcode in Greater London, home to eight railway stations and accessible from central London in 20-30 minutes, but is also home to as many parks and green spaces. So anyone considering a move from London, but who’s not quite ready for the big leap – and anyone looking at a part-time return to the office – might find that Zone 4 offers the perfect compromise. If you thought the suburbs were boring, now might be the time to think again.

Beckenham: on the market

Oakwood Avenue, BR3, £850,000

This four bedroom house in Beckenham has a huge double reception, large kitchen and a generous south-facing garden, and it’s well-located for schools and parks. At £850,000 it’s significantly better value than anything similar in, say, Clapham.

Please contact Winkworth Beckenham on 020 8650 1000 for further information.

Blandford Road, BR3, £575,000

This light-filled three bedroom Victorian house has a sunny garden and lots more space than its £575,000 price tag would buy you in Zone 2. 

Please contact Winkworth Beckenham on 020 8650 1000 for further information.

Copers Cope Road, BR3, £1.5m

This detached 1920s house has four bedrooms and two double garages; it’s a vast house with grand proportions and a huge garden. At £1.5m it’s also the price of a nondescript central London terrace. 

Please contact Winkworth Beckenham on 020 8650 1000 for further information.

High Barnet: on the market

Wood Street, EN5, £1.25m

This four bedroom Georgian house has a superb 100 ft rear garden and a very stylish interior. Nearby is a park with tennis courts, a bowling green and a cafe, for the ultimate in village living.

Please contact Winkworth Barnet on 020 8447 5656 for further information.

County Gate, EN5, £725,000

This extended house in New Barnet is well located for good schools and it has four bedrooms plus an office/study space and a good-sized garden.

Please contact Winkworth Barnet on 020 8447 5656 for further information.

Salisbury Road, EN5

A terraced house might feel more central London than High Barnet, but this spacious and stylish four storey, four bedroom home comes with a price tag of £875,000, much less than it would cost just a few miles south. The garden is lovely too.

Please contact Winkworth Barnet on 020 8447 5656 for further information.

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