Why do house prices vary so drastically between towns within The Greater London zone versus those neighbouring towns just outside the Greater London zone? Is it simply a case of being within the zone is preferable?
Regarding house prices, it is not solely about being within Greater London
versus outside the Greater London limits. Much of this is about the speed of railway services into London, the level of good schools and then the perceived snob factor. Regional snobbery is a quirk of the British people.
Yet, there’s another angle to this: while I agree that the boundary
concept makes for a very interesting conversation piece, there are other reasons why some areas are more expensive and desirable than others.
There is some merit in further cross-examining these comparing areas
with the train services and the schooling options between the towns within and beyond..
If we are looking at Surrey specifically, much of Oxshott, for example, is owned by the Crown Estate. As a result, this is where the higher prices are
achieved and consequently were aspirant purchasers try to buy. The
Crown Estate factor is highly appealing to people, so much that people
are happy to buy a little bungalow, knock it down and then
build a house. Therefore, the knock-on effect on prices is inevitable.
Oxshott has a great rail service in to London (Waterloo). Does
Chessington? (which is just outside the city limits). And what does Chessington offer? Not even a great high street. It is left lacking compared to its flashier cousin – Oxshott. Not all of this is simply because of being an inner or outer Greater London location.
On the subject of Surrey, we can see house price differences between
Dorking and Redhill, and Reigate, all to do with the journey time into Waterloo from these three locations. Dorking is a substantially longer journey time.
Dorking is very verdant and beautiful. Yet, the cute market town, with
its slower rail service, trails behind Reigate in terms of property prices, due to Reigate enjoying a much quicker train service. Otherwise, the two are comparable in terms of schools, amenities and day to day facilities.
If we look at Upminster, versus Basildon, for example. Upminster is at the end of the district line whereas Basildon is not on the Tube. Once more Upminster has increased price levels over Basildon
Chingford (inside Greater London) benefits from an overground station as does Waltham Abbey (outside Greater London). This makes for a better analysis. The reason for Chingford being able to command higher price growth is the established snob factor for Chingford.