It seems more people are choosing to live in the Midlands and commute into London, due to a better quality of living and lower house prices. Market Harborough seems to fit the bill for many - and who better to explain more than a local estate agent and couple who made the move themselves.
There’s no slowdown in the stream of commuters from London and the south-east heading for Market Harborough and the surrounding villages.
And the reason is quite simple according to William Naylor of Naylors estate agents.
“Good transport links are a key criterion for many home buyers” he explained.
“And the X-factor for Market Harborough is the railway station.”
With regular direct trains to London, and of course cities to the north like Leicester and Nottingham, the town is increasingly popular with commuters.
“When moving out of London, people often think of places like Surrey, Kent and Essex as they are geographically closer to London” said William.
“But with huge improvements in train speeds over the last decade, being closer doesn’t necessarily mean a quicker (or less stressful) journey to work.
Market Harborough is 88 miles from London’s St Pancras station, but with journey times down to an hour, it’s a tempting proposition for a commuter who may easily spend 45 minutes trekking in from the London suburbs.
And the annual season ticket price of £7,840 pales into insignificance when compared with the radically cheaper house prices and the more relaxed lifestyle which makes the town and surrounding villages “a safe, pleasant, healthy place to live” says William.
What’s more the town of Market Harborough still “works”.
“It’s got a great range of shops” said William.
“You’ve got all your supermarkets of course, but you’ve also got your independent wine merchants and farm shops.”
And it’s not just Greater London that’s losing people to Harborough.
Elaine Read and Graeme Winn relocated to Harborough from Rayleigh in Essex - a market town between Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea - last year.
Elaine said: “We were looking to settle somewhere in the Midlands that resembled Rayleigh.
“We visited other towns in the Midlands, but as soon as we drove into Market Harborough and saw what it had to offer, we decided immediately that we wanted to live here.
“We love the variety of shops, pubs and restaurants as well as the proximity to London.
“The cheaper house prices were a bonus too.”
Although it’s well oustide London, Rayleigh’s average house price is just under £300,000, said Naylors.
That’s around 23 per cent higher than the average Market Harborough house price at the moment.
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