St Albans and Harpenden named as best places to live for buyers seeking top schools and short commutes

PUBLISHED: 14:43 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:30 24 September 2018

This stretch of Sandridge Road is between two 'outstanding' schools - Maple and Bernards Heath Junior School

This stretch of Sandridge Road is between two 'outstanding' schools - Maple and Bernards Heath Junior School

Archant

Several Hertfordshire towns and cities have featured on a new list of ‘sweet spots’ for commuting families, thanks to their speedy rail links and great schools.

The top locations within a 30-minute commute of London. Source: SavillsThe top locations within a 30-minute commute of London. Source: Savills

St Albans topped Savills’ list of areas that are under 30-minutes from the capital by train, followed by Harpenden in second place, Hitchin in sixth and Stevenage in seventh.

Radlett came ninth on the list, while Welwyn Garden City was in 13th place.

When the list was expanded to cover areas within an hour of the capital, St Albans held onto the top spot, while Harpenden dropped into third place – the only two Herts locations in the top 10.

Savills compiled these lists by looking at commuter towns with Ofsted ‘outstanding’ primary schools within 2km of the station.

The top locations within a 60-minute commute of London. Source: SavillsThe top locations within a 60-minute commute of London. Source: Savills

Compared to the inner London average, this analysis revealed that the average house price saving is worth £4,000 per minute from the capital for a commute of up to an hour.

Savills concluded that people purchasing properties in these desirable locations are paying a 9.5 per cent premium for proximity to both a train into London and a good primary school.

Nick Ingle, head of Savills’ Harpenden office, estimates that 75 per cent of his market consists of this twin combination of “school driven buyers and London commuters”.

He says: “One of the primary motivations for families moving to St Albans and Harpenden is the education options available as well as their respective train stations that offer two of the most convenient commutes in the south east, where many families will often continue to work in London.

“By making the move out of London, buyers are achieving more space, whether that is gardens or accommodation, a sense of community or a more wholesome way of living.”

“For those who want a more rural base, there are some very pretty villages that surround St Albans and Harpenden, offering excellent value for money.“

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