Blissful in Surburbia

Londoners de-camp to family homes in well heeled commuter towns within easy reach of London

Forget Kensington, Knightsbridge, Clapham and Hampstead, why not try Kent, Surrey or Berkshire and join the growing ranks of Londoners leaving the Capital in favour of buying a family home in the suburbs.

Well heeled commuter towns such as Tunbridge Wells and Guildford topped a recent poll as the most popular destinations for London expats, as movers were attracted by the period properties, good schools and increasing array of leisure facilities.

With direct train journeys into London in under an hour, combined with house prices typically 10% lower in Surrey and up to 60% lower in Kent, compared to London's central boroughs, those looking for a family home can upgrade to a more desirable property if they are prepared to travel into the city from a little further away.

North West London fared the worst of all the city's regions, with 28% more people looking to move out of the area than move in during the second quarter of 2008.

Keith McNeilly, co-founder of Moveme.com, who carried out the survey, said, "Driven out by rising living costs, high crime rates and a lack of suitable housing, an increasing number of London residents are now leaving the Capital for more family orientated commuter towns.

"Well heeled destinations such as Tunbridge Wells and Guildford have long been popular with professionals and those with young children, looking for a better quality of life and a larger family home, still within commuting distance of the city," Ms McNeilly added.

Although they may make commuting impossible, seaside towns still proved extremely popular with movers, with Plymouth and Bournemouth making it into the top five destinations.

These towns boast a wide appeal; popular with students and young professionals who are keen to capitalise on the well priced housing, good selection of rental properties and conveniences of living in a town centre.

Ms McNeilly said, "Many coastal properties are reported to be holding their value in the current market, benefiting from a surge of recent media attention as both Gordon Brown and David Cameron opt to spend their summer holidays in UK coastal resorts.

"With beautiful scenery, a range of exquisite homes and a steady market, these towns are likely to increase in popularity and in price in the longer term," she went on to say.

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