Chatham tops the list of most affordable commuter towns

A warm welcome back to my regular readers and for those that are new to Medway Property News, hello. Along with my family and friends, I celebrated new year in the North of Cyprus this year. Although I have holidayed many times in Cyprus, this was my first visit to the beautiful city of Kyrenia. Steeped in history, nature and culture, Kyrenia has plenty to offer anyone looking for some R+R – I loved it. The sun was shining and although it wasn’t hot, it was great to have some downtime and reflect on the past year. However, I have returned chomping at the bit to get back to business and within a few days of being back, have let plenty of rental properties including a 3-bed new-build flat in Gillingham, and a five-bed student property in Gillingham for an increased rent on last year.

As I’ve alluded to many times, Medway is a great area for property investors looking to either start or expand their portfolio. My views have been substantiated by the news this week that Chatham is the most affordable town for London commuters. You’ve probably seen the BBC news article; brought about by the return to work in the new year, people are once again looking for workable solutions that allow them to work in the city (which attracts better salaries) but find affordable housing (that is still commutable). Forced out of London by rising house prices and simultaneously hit with rising travel costs when commuting, this conundrum is not a new one. Medway, with its excellent rail and road links, has long been a commuter stop point for those looking to move outside Greater London. However rising travel costs don’t appear to be offering any reprieve for those looking to cut costs.

Rising travel costs

Medway’s commuters using our rail network – provided by the notorious SouthEastern – face increases to their fares again this year. The rise, the largest increase in five years, is estimated to be 3.6% which will equate to somewhere in the region of an additional £200 per season ticket for those based in Medway. Our commuters already pay some of the highest season ticket prices in the country, so it’s easy to see why people are unhappy with the rise. But the good news is that there are still plenty of money to be saved for those moving from London to Medway. Chatham has topped the BBC’s list as being most affordable commuter town for both renters and buyers looking to relocate outside the capital.

Renting in Medway

What really stands out about this latest report is that commuters could save a further 30.5% on annual living costs, by renting in Chatham. A two or three bedroom property is (on average) a far more affordable option at £866 a month. With combined rental and travel costs in Chatham at around £14,500 per year, there is a considerable saving to be made; particularly when compared to Greater London. Renters could save upwards of £8k per year by relocating to Chatham, even after paying for the extortionate season tickets.

This is fantastic news for investors in the area. And with continued developments such as the £4m regeneration project in Chatham, the allure of the area is only going to go from strength to strength. Certainly the surrounding area of Gillingham also has a lot to offer.

We have started the year with a bang, letting a lot of properties and taking on several new managed landlords. Our offshoot brand of Home-Share is also going well, and we are looking to expand this across Kent and into East London.

I have managed properties in Medway for a long time now and I truly believe there are some fantastic opportunities out there. I will be keeping you abreast of some these with my investor alerts, so if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, make sure you do. In the meantime, if you need any advice on potential investments, you can contact me via email at hasan@bullfinchproperties.co.uk or connect with me via LinkedIn.

 

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