It's the holy grail for Londoners of a certain age: a town close enough to the capital to commute from, but far enough away to be affordable. Now London's best commuter town has been named: step forward, Amersham.
The Buckinghamshire town, 27 miles from London (and 59 minutes on the Tube), has been ranked the most desirable commuter town near the capital, thanks to its (relatively) cheap house price, good schools, share of detached homes and, crucially, broadband speeds.
All the towns in the report, by CBRE, are within a 90 minutes of the capital, and all benefit from low density, open spaces and parkland, as well as accessible amenities.
But while Beaconsfield came top for those factors, its £1.1m average house price means Amersham, whose average prices are still a chewy £700,000, may be more enticing.
If you're after somewhere more affordable, look no further than Hatfield, in Hertfordshire, which was seen as one of the most undervalued locations, with an average price of £347,000.
Maidstone, High Wycombe and Grays also made the list of desirable-yet-cheap locations.
“Intuitively we think there is a relationship between the desirability of a place and house prices – basic economics tells us that the higher the demand, the higher the price paid for it," said Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CBRE.
"Buyers are traditionally drawn to areas that have the best retail, excellent schools and leafy green open spaces, as well as good connectivity," she said.
"The findings of our latest research suggest that several of London’s commuter towns score highly in the Desirability Index and yet have disproportionately lover than average property prices."
Prices edging up
New figures from the Office for National Statistics showed London house prices edged closer to £500,000 in November, hitting £482,000 for the first time.
Meanwhile, prices in the East of England rose 10.5 per cent, while homes in the South East rose 8.6 per cent - suggesting even getting out of the capital is becoming an increasingly expensive endeavour.