A skyline of London.

If you have been paying attention to the property market in London since the pandemic of 2020, you may have noticed that London residents are moving out of the city on a large scale to cut costs. However, they aren’t moving too far away from London. Many are looking for property to rent on the London Commuter Belt. 

This is where you, as a landlord, step in. Here, we take a look at the best up-and-coming areas of the London commuter belt to invest in. 

Why are people moving away from London? 

Property prices have risen by 12.5% across the London commuter belt and Savills predicts that there will be a further 21.6% increase over the next five years. 

Also, rent within London’s commuter belt has risen over 8.5% in the past year. This proves that rental demand within the commuter belt is high and that you should be taking advantage of this. 

So, it’s clear that residents of London are moving further out of London, but why is this the case? 

Cost of living

One of the main reasons people are moving away from London is the high cost of living in the capital. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, with housing costs significantly higher than in other parts of the UK. 

The steep rental prices and the high cost of buying a home make it difficult for many, particularly young professionals and families, to afford comfortable living spaces. 

As remote working has become more popular since the pandemic, many are seizing the opportunity to relocate to more affordable areas where they can get more space for their money whilst still earning a London wage.

Seeking a better quality of life 

Beyond financial considerations, the quest for a better quality of life is a strong motivator, too. The hustle and bustle of London, while exciting, can also be overwhelming. Issues such as congestion, pollution, and the general pace of life can take a toll on mental and physical health. 

The pandemic in 2020 intensified the desire for more space and a less crowded living environment, which prompted people to seek out locations with more green spaces, better air quality, and a slower pace of life. 

Improved transport links

Developments in transport infrastructure, such as the expansion of rail services and roads, make it easier than ever to live outside London but still maintain access to the city’s resources and job market. 

Areas within the commuter belt, including some areas farther away, are now becoming very real options for people who only need to travel into London a few times a week, compared to five days a week. Being as connected as this means that people can enjoy the benefits of both urban and rural living. 

Family considerations 

As individuals and couples start families, space and education becomes the focus. The desire for good schools, safe neighbourhoods, and more living space often draws people away from London to places that are perceived as more family-friendly. 

These areas often offer a sense of community and local culture that is difficult to find in the busy city.

Remote working opportunities

As mentioned before, the shift towards remote and flexible working arrangements has been a game-changer. With many companies adopting more flexible working policies, employees are no longer required to live within a commutable distance of the office. 

Up-and-coming areas of the London commuter belt

Train doors opening.

The major shift in people leaving London to live elsewhere is a beneficial one for you as a landlord. There are multiple areas that should be considered when deciding where to invest in property. 


Bracknell, a bustling commuter town just a stone’s throw from London, has recently shot to prominence, rejuvenated by an impressive £770 million regeneration initiative. This sweeping transformation has turned the town centre into a vibrant hub, attracting both residents and visitors with its many amenities and leisure options.

At the heart of Bracknell is The Lexicon Shopping Centre. This modern complex holds over 160 stores, a 12-screen cinema, and a lively selection of bars and restaurants, making it one of Berkshire’s premier shopping destinations. It’s no wonder that The Lexicon secured the Development of the Year title at the 2018 Thames Valley Property Awards. 

Employment opportunities are another one of Bracknell’s strengths, particularly in the burgeoning tech sector. With an unemployment rate of just 2.9%, well below the national average of 4.2%, Bracknell is a wise choice for anyone looking to move out of London. 

Home to 27 major companies—the highest concentration outside of London—Bracknell is a powerhouse that contributes over £5.5 billion to the local economy.

And for those who still work in the capital, Bracknell offers unbeatable connectivity. Situated strategically in Berkshire, it provides swift access to London, with 43 trains running per day. On average, it takes 1 hour 20 minutes to travel to the capital by train. 

St Albans

If you’re seeking a peaceful retreat from the relentless pace of London, St. Albans might just be your ideal haven. This enchanting cathedral city is rich in history, with stunning architecture and historical sites around every corner. Yet, come Monday, St. Albans stands ready to whisk you into the heart of London in just 20-30 minutes, thanks to its prime location on the commuter belt.

For the travellers and commuters alike, St. Albans is a connectivity hub. The city is home to two train stations with direct links to Gatwick and Luton airports, perfect for those weekend getaways or business trips. And, if you prefer to drive, you’ll find St Albans conveniently situated between big motorways like the M1 and M25. 


Basingstoke is another town on the commuter belt that is rich in history, stretching well beyond Roman times. Yet, it’s the modern-day amenities and vibrant community life that truly make Basingstoke stand out. Among its crown jewels is Festival Place Shopping Centre, a premier shopping destination in the South. 

Transportation in Basingstoke is top-notch, akin to many commuter towns with close ties to London. The Basingstoke Transport Strategy enhances the town’s already robust transport network, ensuring residents and visitors enjoy seamless access to central London and Heathrow Airport. Also, to get to London by train from Basingstoke can take as little as 42 minutes. 

Also, Basingstoke, amongst many other things, is a great city to invest in especially when considering business, and here’s why:

  • There are many businesses already experiencing success, for example, Sony, Barclays, Motorola and Sainsbury’s.
  • There are thriving B2B supply chains and relationships.
  • Basingstoke gives access to high-spending demographic groups.
  • Businesses have access to a highly skilled workforce (37,000 highly educated people).


Reading, arguably the crown jewel of West Berkshire, is a town celebrated for its vibrant cultural scene and academic prowess. Home to the famous Reading Festival and one of the UK’s top universities, Reading University, the town has long been a key player in shaping Berkshire’s cultural and educational landscape.

Currently, Reading is experiencing a transformative wave of regeneration projects sweeping across the South East. At the forefront of this revitalisation is the ambitious Station Hill development. Once complete, the project will have created:

  • Up to 1,300 new homes
  • 95,000 sq ft of property dedicated to leisure and amenities and lifestyle-led retail
  • 625,000 sq ft of office space
  • 2 acres of urban space that will link The Station and North Reading to the town’s centre. 

Transportation in Reading is equally impressive, highlighted by its integration into the Elizabeth Line from the main train station. Situated just 25 miles from London, Reading offers seamless connections to major airports like Heathrow and Gatwick, enhancing its appeal as a commuter hub and a strategic link between London and the broader South East.


Nestled strategically between London and Maidenhead, Slough stands out as a prime commuter town, thanks largely to its direct inclusion on the Elizabeth Line. This revolutionary transport link has transformed travel across the South East, positioning Slough as a top choice for those seeking quick commutes paired with more affordable housing. 

From Slough, destinations like Paddington, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, and Canary Wharf are all within an hour’s journey, making it an ideal spot for commuters and landlords alike looking to stretch their property pounds further.

Slough has been experiencing a wave of transformation, driven by ambitious regeneration projects that continue to reshape the town. A standout initiative is the £3 billion Slough Urban Renewal (SUR) scheme, which will enhance areas like sporting, schooling and social housing. 

Local amenities in Slough are equally impressive. The Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre offers a comprehensive shopping experience with a range of household brands, for example, attracting thousands of daily visitors. 


Situated in the heart of Berkshire, Windsor is far more than just the home of Windsor Castle and its royal associations. This charming town is a treasure trove of attractions, home to an array of racecourses, a bustling shopping centre, and one of the UK’s few Legoland resorts – ensuring entertainment for all ages and interests.

Windsor is particularly appealing for families, thanks to its comprehensive network of educational institutions ranging from St. George’s Primary School to the prestigious Eton College – a school that has been the training ground for multiple prime ministers and British leaders. 

There are a few regeneration projects taking place in Windsor, including Nicholsons Quarter Regeneration, comprising of over 650 new homes, 60 retail and hospitality units, 29,000 sq.m of office space, and a new multi-storey car park with storage for 850 bicycles.

With an average property price of £678,423, Windsor exemplifies how commuter towns can benefit immensely from such strategic links, combining royal heritage with modern living to offer a truly unique living experience. 


Stevenage is a charming town nestled in Hertfordshire just 29 miles north of London. Currently undergoing an ambitious 20-year regeneration initiative titled ‘Stevenage Even Better,’ the town is set to experience a dramatic transformation. 

This project, which kicked off in 2019, aims to infuse Stevenage with new shops, restaurants, homes, and significantly enhanced transport and connectivity links. Plans are in place to expand the main train station, enhancing both road and rail links to London and the broader South East region, boosting Stevenage’s appeal as a commuter town.

So, which commuter belt town catches your eye? 

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