Commuter towns within 45 minutes of London are on course to become highly prized after lockdown, as families seek a better quality of life.
For many, the perfect mix will be a bigger, better-value home with a garden, a quick dash to the station and an easy school run.
“We’re seeing a steady stream of pragmatic buyers who made life-changing decisions during lockdown and are now keen to move for a fresh start,” says Jonathan Hopper of Garrington Property Finders.
De Montfort Place, offering family homes in Bedford, is a contender. The county town is 35 minutes away by train from St Pancras, at the end of the Thameslink route through the capital, and has a number of highly rated state and independent schools, along with easy access to lovely countryside.
Bedford town centre is getting a makeover, with a new station “quarter” and shopping precinct overlooking the River Great Ouse. Barely five minutes away, the former De Montfort University campus has been transformed into a new neighbourhood.
What was a run-down location, albeit in a conservation area, dominated by student digs and lecture rooms, is now one of Bedford’s best addresses, with smart, good-value homes in new and refurbished buildings. A park has been created, too.
The area has the look and feel of a prosperous, tucked-away pocket in suburban Putney or Wimbledon, in that it’s quiet and leafy, with architecture that is solid and aspirational. But the homes are far cheaper.
Storey Homes, the developer, is offering a range of houses starting at £325,000 for a three-bedroom, two-storey terrace home. Call 01582 742165.