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Steep increase in house prices slashed in London's commuter belt



Winchester, where 36.4pc of property has been reduced in price

The property slowdown plaguing the capital has rippled out to its commuter belt, as crunched affordability and overpricing has led to a sharp hike in the number of homes having their prices slashed.

New research by online estate agent HouseSimple has found that cities and towns surrounding London have reported a bigger increase in reduced property prices than anywhere else in the country.

In Reading, 44pc of properties on the market have been reduced in price since they were first advertised. House prices in the city, which has been heralded as a commuter hotspot due to its proximity to London and location on Crossrail, have risen 30pc in the last five years. This rate of price slashing in Reading has increased from 22.8pc in February.

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The 20 UK towns and cities with the highest increases of house prices slashed. Data from HouseSimple, excluding London

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Other commuter cities where prices have been slashed included Basildon, Chelmsford and Winchester. In all these cities more than 35pc of property on the market has been reduced in price this month, while in February this was below 27pc.

This is the same as the amount of reductions in London, and far higher than in Manchester and Birmingham, where listings with reduced prices made up just 16.6pc and 27.5pc respectively. 

It comes after separate analysis by The Daily Telegraph found that London-based workers could save thousands of pounds a year by living in the capital, as opposed to the commuter belt. For example, taking into account monthly mortgage payments on an average property and a rail season ticket, the analysis found that you would be £5,456 a year better off living in zone three in London than in Sevenoaks in Kent.

Alex Gosling, chief executive of HouseSimple, said: ďThe London commuter belt has seen a property price boom over the past decade, as Londoners priced out of the capitalís property market have moved further out to take advantage of cheaper stock and excellent local amenities including highly rated state schools.

ďAs a result, the gap between property prices in many of the commuter towns and prices in central London has narrowed. Anyone looking in some of the most popular commuter towns, 30 minutes from London, may now find that properties arenít any more affordable. That is putting pressure on local property markets, as buyers may be starting to look further afield for value for money."

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