Many families move to towns such as Reading and Slough and commute into London for work. Often, commuter towns work out as better value for money compared to living in the capital. Research has found that families wanting to move out of London and commute in can save an average of 14,000 for every mile beyond the capital’s boundary.

Reading and Slough provide so much more for those looking to move away from London and commute in for work. They are also some of the best places to live and work in the UK. Slough comes first in terms of ease of employment, job satisfaction and cost of living. Reading comes in sixth.

Reading and Slough provide good housing opportunities for commuters looking for better value for money outside of London. Now they are also good places to work in their own right. With a burgeoning job market and affordable housing, perhaps now is the time to invest in housing to accommodate a growing work force.

Below we weigh up the fundamentals of the two London commuter towns for property investment.

The investment case for Slough

Some may recognise Slough from The Office, but with improving transport links and house price growth outstripping London, it will soon be known for much more than a comedy show.

Slough is just 18 minutes from Paddington station but with the arrival of Crossrail more areas in London will be easily accessible. Once the line is complete journey times to Canary Wharf will be reduced by 24 minutes and this will make it attractive to more commuters.

The average property price in Slough is £349,547 compared to London’s £618,829. It makes sense that many would choose to lay down roots in Slough to get better value for money. Slough is not just an attractive place for London workers to buy property. It’s also an attractive place to work. In 2017 Slough beat places such as Cambridge and Manchester to be crowned the best place to live and work in the UK. It was measured against criteria such as employment rates, employee happiness and wages. Head offices in Slough include Mars and O2.

The decent salaries those working in Slough make means they can pay rents and eventually buy. This allows investors to achieve good occupancy levels and capital uplift when people come to buy. Slough’s property prices have risen by 53% since 2013 but there is still scope for more due to Crossrail and a £1 billion, 15-year regeneration project which commenced in 2012. This makes a buy to let investment in Slough an attractive prospect for those looking to achieve capital growth.

The investment case for Reading

Reading has an established and strong economy with many hi-tech businesses and those in the creative sector contributing to its success. It is also home to a world-class university and due to its strong economy, many decide to stay after graduating. Reading benefits from a highly skilled workforce. Over 50% of those living in Reading are educated to graduate degree level or higher.

Reading is also just half an hour from London, making it a convenient place to live for those working in London. Reading is much more affordable with an average property price of £363,150 compared to London’s £618,829.

Reading took Manchester’s crown as the town or city forecast to see the most growth in the UK over the period 2018-2021 in EY’s latest Regional Economic Forecast.

Reading is also set to benefit from Crossrail. Property prices increased by 35 per cent in the first 18 months since Crossrail was announced and they are predicted to increase even more once Crossrail nears completion.

Which London Commuter Town is Better for Property Investment?

In conclusion, Reading is the more traditional commuter town with a thriving economy. It is also set to see the most economic growth in the UK between 2018 – 2021 which could attract young talent to the town, increasing demand for property and making a buy to let investment in Reading an attractive opportunity. Average prices are slightly higher at £363,150 compared to Slough’s £349,547.

Starting at a lower base, Slough has more scope for capital growth, and this is reflected in the property price increases we have seen – 53% since 2013. Both towns are set to benefit from Crossrail, and this will reflect in property prices. We will have to wait until nearer completion to see which town will be affected the most.

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