Londoners head to the commuter belt in pursuit of more space

August 17, 2020

COVID-19’s impact on the UK property market is still unfolding. It began with a near-total market freeze that lasted from the moment the country entered lockdown on 23 March 2020 to its reopening on 13 May. Since, then, buyers have returned to the market with a vengeance. 

Pent-up demand has combined with a stamp duty holiday that runs from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. Buyers during this period don’t have to pay stamp duty on properties costing up to £500,000 (other than the 3% paid by those purchasing second homes and investment properties). This means buyers can save up to £15,000.

The result of this is that UK house prices hit their highest ever level in July, according to Halifax, with the average property price now standing at £241,604 – 3.8% higher than a year ago.   

The situation in London is particularly interesting. Along with the rest of the country, London has seen its property market freeze and then bounce back to life. What makes it so interesting is the shift in buyer interest from Inner London to Outer London and the commuter belt.  

Knight Frank, for example, has reported a 13% dip in web views in Inner London since the outbreak, along with a corresponding 13% increase in search traffic for homes outside the city limits (when compared with the five-year average). 

According to the June 2020 Hometrack House Price Index, when the most important adjacent commuter areas are included in the definition of ‘London,’ the city ranks fourth in the UK for growth in demand since the start of the year. The report emphasises the current focus on outer and commuter locations:

“When we split London into inner, outer and commuter areas we can see that the share of housing demand has shifted to outer and commuter areas while slipping back in inner areas since the lockdown.”

UK House Price Index, June 2020, Hometrack

Changes to what people want from their home are playing a key role here. Zoopla surveyed 2,000 households and found that respondents’ top priority was having a garden or some other kind of outside space. The further out from the centre of London you travel, the more affordable such properties become.

“Outer London and the commuter belt have always attracted those looking for more space and better prices than can be found within Inner London. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend, driving up demand for commuter belt homes, as both buyers and renters seek to avoid the hustle and bustle of London while also gaining more indoor and outdoor space at home.”

Dale Anderson, Managing Director, Fabrik Invest

If you would like further details, why not get in touch with the Fabrik Invest team? You can call us on 020 8175 9891, email or visit

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Wayne Venter

International Business Development Manager

Wayne has been in the property industry for over 17 years. He started out selling residential properties in the northern suburbs of Sandton, South Africa, for one of the bigger real estate brands, before moving to a boutique, Johannesburg-based property developer. He worked at a senior level, specialising in residential developments on the north coast of KZN and various other areas of Northern Johannesburg.

Wayne moved to selling luxury, free standing homes and apartments in Sandton, Johannesburg in 2006, having joined the Country’s leading real estate brand and within six months was leading the team. In 2008, he began to focus exclusively on the luxury apartments in central Sandton, priced from approximately R2 million to R60 million. Over the years, he has also added commercial property sales and rentals to his repertoire, as well as building his own investment property portfolio between 2011 and 2018.

By 2018, realising where the South African property market was headed, he sold out of his investment property portfolio to de-risk and went looking for a real estate company to buy into. South Africa’s property market was extremely volatile at that time, so Wayne took the initiative and moved to London to work in property in the UK.

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Edward Snell

Senior Property Consultant

I live in Spanish countryside with my wife and our 11 rescue dogs.

Originally from Bedford, I have two sons, two step children & 6 grandchildren.

I have a keen interest in property investment and over the years have built up a personal portfolio for the purposes of rental income and capital growth.

I have over 20 years’ experience in property investment, both in the UK & overseas.

My other interests include animal welfare, football, motorsports, travel and music

My personality is of an even temperament and I enjoy the cut and thrust of doing deals.
I am happy and successful in what I do & take great pleasure in providing my clients with successful outcomes.

I’m a good team player but work well as an individual.

Daniel Harburn

Property Sales Consultant

Daniel had a passion for property from a young age so he began his working life by undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship for a large well known UK developer to pursue a career in construction. After qualifying he soon realised that building relationships was a preferred skill of his due to his loyal and trusting nature.

From then on Daniel launched his career in sales where he worked his way to to a high performing sales person at a creative media company. Part of Daniels success in accumulating clients over the last 10 years is put down to his diligence in customer experience.

Daniel has a keen interest in golf and also in keeping himself fit which is essential as he and his fiancé have 4 year old twins, Jacob and Sofia who keep them both on their toes.

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