Original article from Kent Live
Dartford has been named as one of the most affordable places for first time buyers looking for property near London.
Data from Reallymoving analysed the affordability of alternative locations for first time buyers across the East, South East and West as an alternative to London.
With London price houses and rents notoriously high, it makes sense that many young people looking to find themselves a home would look a little further out of the capital.
Dartford isn't just cheap, but a sensible shout in Kent – being one of the very few parts of the region which is within the Oyster card scheme.
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Not only does this make travel to London convenient and that little bit cheaper, but it is an indicator of relative proximity to the capital, meaning your commute won't be too long.
With a large park complete with its own lakes, a pedestrianised town centre and a historic market open on Thursdays and Saturdays, Dartford has its own charm and attractions.
Add in the Orchard Theatre, which regularly hosts national touring comedians and shows, an Open-Air stage in the nearby park, and regular buses to Bluewater, and it's a surprise that Dartford is as affordable as it is.
According to ReallyMoving, 12 per cent of Dartford's property is affordable for first-time buyers on a fairly average household income, just above Brighton for affordability, coming in at a respectable 8th.
Using their data, Reallymoving said first time buyers are enjoying more freedom with location and the properties they can afford to buy largely because of changing working trends post-pandemic.
With many businesses shifting to more remote working patterns, many young adults or first time buyers now have more freedom for buying in the south of England.
The data also showed that while the number of first time buyers has increased, London's share of first time buyers has fallen from a peak of 20.6 per cent in February 2020 to 16.8 per cent – a decline of almost one fifth.
The affordability of commuter towns near London
Affordability of East, South east and South West alternatives to London
Estimated per cent of properties affordable with £25,000 deposit and £40,000 income
- Swindon – 36.5 per cent
- Colchester – 29.5 per cent
- Luton – 19 per cent
- Crawley – 15.5 per cent
- Milton Keynes – 14 per cent
- Guildford – 12.5 per cent
- Basildon – 12 per cent
- Dartford – 12 per cent
- Brighton and Hove – 11 per cent
- Reading – 8 per cent
Rob Houghton, founder and CEO of Reallymoving, said: “With more London employers every day announcing they will be implementing flexible working permanently in some capacity, first time buyers are seeing greater options opening up to them in terms of where they can live.
“No longer tied to living in the capital or crippled by daily commuting costs, first time buyers might be surprised to find that they can access a sizable proportion of the market in several popular locations within an hour of the capital – and are more likely to be able to afford a garden and larger living space."