The price of properties in London is notoriously high and seems to always be on the rise. This has meant that towns and villages that are outside of London but within a reasonable distance have become more and more popular with commuters. One of these, Watford, has recently been named as the best commuter town for property investment.
So where exactly is Watford?
Watford is located approximately 15 miles northwest of central London and is officially in the county of Hertfordshire.
What are the main advantages of living in Watford?
The main attraction of living in Watford is the fact that it is commutable from London and has some excellent transport links. There are no less than seven local stations. Watford Junction has a number of services, most notably connecting to London Euston (in as little 16 minutes) and Birmingham New Street (taking around 2 hours 20 minutes). Watford High Street is on the London Overground line and the journey into Euston takes approximately 50 minutes. Watford station is a London underground station on the Metropolitan line. Trains on this line take around 45 minutes to reach central London (Baker Street). Watford North station operates a limited service between Watford and St Albans Abbey. Bushey, Garston, and Croxley are all on the outskirts of Watford. Bushey is one stop from Watford Junction with a journey time into London Euston of as little as 20 minutes. Garston is on the same line as Watford North. Croxley is an underground station on the Metropolitan line and one stop closer to London than Watford.
For motorists, Watford provides easy access to the M25 and the M1. London Heathrow is also around a 35-minute drive away.
The buy-to-let market
The average house price in Watford over the past 12 months was £497,521. Flats sold for an average of £277,511 in this period. The average rental for a house in Watford is £2605 / month and for a flat is £1845 / month.
Based on these figures, investors could expect a yield of around 7.9% for a flat and 6.2% for a house. There could, however, also potentially be a higher yield achievable from renting out multiple rooms in a single property.
If you are looking for someone to undertake a building survey Watford then a specialist firm such as Sam Conveyancing can provide help and advice.
There are plenty of other reasons why Watford is popular. It has a well-established football team, it is close to the Warner Bros. Studio (where all 8 Harry Potter films were produced), there are three major shopping centres and a number of large green spaces. There are also good employment options within Watford itself, with major names in the area including KPMG, Europcar, Camelot, Hilton, Warner Bros, and Ralph Lauren.
An impressive 30% of schools in Watford are ranked Outstanding by OFSTED and there is a choice of independent schools and grammar schools available. Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire universities are both within a 30-minute drive of Watford, and three of the UK’s top ranked universities (Imperial, UCL, and LSE) are less than an hour away on public transport.
All in all, there are plenty of compelling reasons to invest in property in Watford.