Prices Of Developer’s Commuter Belt Homes Jump By Nearly 13% In A Year Due To Pandemic Shift In Demand

Homes in London’s commuter belt are proving so popular that national developer MCR Property Group has seen asking prices of its properties shoot up by nearly 13% in a year, the company reveals today.

Demand in areas within striking distance of the capital has risen so quickly that a shift in buyer behaviour sparked by the pandemic is proving a boon to property investors.

MCR, which adjusts asking prices in step with local market trends, has had to raise prices per sq ft by 12.8% in the past 12 months for its homes in London’s commuter belt.

This is more than double the annual rate of growth recorded in the capital by the Land Registry, where achieved sale prices were 5.3%1 higher in January year on year.

The comparison underlines how the pandemic is having a significant real-world impact on buyers’ property priorities. Many people don’t expect to return to an office full time, giving them the opportunity to look further afield for their forever home.

MCR analysed the changes in asking prices at its nine key schemes within an hour’s travel time of central London. The developments, which offer very affordable options for young professionals and families, account for 1,487 homes in total and are worth more than £385million.

They include:

  • The Old Works, High Wycombe
  • Stockwood Gardens, Luton
  • St Bartholomew’s Place, Rochester
  • The Residence, Saunderton
  • Four Corners, Chertsey
  • Feltham Court, Feltham
  • Broadwater Apartments, Worthing
  • Castellum Apartments, Aylesbury
  • Castellum Houses, Aylesbury

The MCR team is set to unveil a tenth key residential scheme in Bedford shortly. Founded in 1989, MCR Property Group has developed more than £4bn of residential, commercial and industrial property.

Michael Fenlon, Director of MCR Property Group’s residential arm, MCR Homes, said:

“The home working revolution created by the pandemic is anything but a flash in the pan and people are already voting with their feet.

“Our analysis shows that demand for affordable property out of London but within striking distance of its commercial heartlands is driving price growth that is leagues ahead of that being recorded in the capital itself.

“Despite some big businesses increasingly talking about a return to offices in the future, the disruption and change forced upon society in the past year has been too deep for our working lives to just snap back into place as if nothing had happened.

“At the very least, the vast majority of professionals who can work remotely are going to insist on a greater degree of flexibility and control. This is going to put the commuter belt under the spotlight like never before as workers look for more affordable property that gives them the best of both worlds in terms of country and city living.”

Apr 22nd, 2021

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