Even with recent price drops, the average London home is still beyond the budget of many young professionals at £430,749. Luckily, you don't need to live right in the centre of the capital to enjoy its opportunities.
Homes in the commuter belt have easy access to the city with a few bonuses thrown in, such as extra space and more peaceful surroundings. If you’re thinking of upping and moving to the country (but not too far from London life), here are a few homes for sale that show the charms of life beyond the M25.
Freshly renovated flat in Slough
Guide price: £269,000
This two-bedroom flat has recently been refurbished with tasteful neutral décor throughout and a statement kitchen. It has two balconies – one off the lounge, and another off the kitchen, perfect for al-fresco meals.
It's about 10 minutes' walk from Langley railway station, where trains take just half an hour to reach London Paddington. With a Crossrail station set to open in Slough, and the Heart of Slough regeneration project pouring £600m into revamping the town, this could be a very canny buy indeed.
Canalside living in Kings Langley
Or nearest offer: £249,995
This modern one-bedroom flat has a spacious living kitchen and a big bedroom, along with a decked balcony that's perfect for entertaining friends and family. It's next to a leafy section of the Grand Union Canal in Hertfordshire, where there's a path for Sunday strolls with the dog or your morning jog.
Equally, it only takes half an hour to reach London Euston from the nearby Apsley train station, which is just five minutes' walk from the property.
Grand British design in Belvedere
Guide price: £210,000
With recent renovations such as a new kitchen and luxurious rain shower, this ground floor flat makes a big impression. Set inside a fully refurbished building dating to 1938, it has its own private back garden and an off-street parking area at the back.
From its location in Kent along the Thames from London, you can reach Charing Cross in 45 minutes. The railway station is just a five-minute walk away, making your commute a piece of cake.
Classic bungalow in Southend-on-Sea
Offers over: £284,000
In a quiet area near the airport and town (and just under an hour by train from London) this two-bedroom bungalow is the perfect compromise for those who only want to dip into the hustle and bustle of city life when they need it.
It has plenty of parking thanks to a garage and extra off-street spaces at the front. And at the rear is a garden that's perfect for summer entertaining. It also has a conservatory, for extra living space with lots of natural light.