Quick connections and moderate prices make Luton’s new homes a magnet for commuters

Posted 1 February 2016 by Keith Osborne

A number of housebuilders are about to tackle the shortage of new homes in one of the most affordable commuter towns around London...

Perhaps best known for its airport, London’s fourth largest, Luton is also a remarkably short journey from central London, making it a very convenient place to live for the city’s commuters.

On the fastest train services on the Thameslink route, it’s just 24 minutes to St Pancras International and even the slowest trains can get to central London in under 50 minutes. The monthly season ticket on this line costs £380, with an annual option costing £3,980.

Other major towns on the northern part of the Thameslink route include St Albans (11-14 minutes from Luton, £155 per month or £1,616 per year) and Bedford (14-26 minutes, £248 per month or £2,584 per year), though the line continues south out of London via East Croydon and Gatwick Airport to Brighton (about two hours sway on the fastest services).

Data from LSL Property Services and e.surv showed a surge in property prices in Luton last year, leaping from £182,108 in August 2014 to £209,272 in the last quarter of 2015, with the companies’ analysts attributing the 14.9% rise to the town's attraction to London commuters. In January 2015, CBRE named Luton London’s second most affordable commuter town.

Luton mapPart of this big rise might also be connected to the shortage of new homes in Luton, with demand causing those that are available to increase in price. Although there are a few current developments in and around the town, buyers will also be please to here that other projects are lined up.

Plans for 550 new homes on the border between Wigmore and Cockernhoe, just north of the airport are reported to be ready for submission this spring, Landowner the Crown Estate has revised its plans down from 600 homes on the site and could offer up to 40% of the new properties as ‘affordable’.

Bloor Homes has already submitted a planning application for 1,050 homes, a primary school and other community use facilities on land east of Cockernhoe, in a project it has named Wandon Park. The housebuilder also has plans to build another 400 homes on land nearby.

Keepmoat has just begun work to regenerate the Marsh Farm estate, a £22m project for Luton Borough Council that will involve demolishing the existing shopping centre and building 118 new homes for rent on the site over a three-year period.

Another 625 homes are planned on Napier Park, a mixed-use development between the town and the airport. The development will also produce new industrial, retail and leisure areas, including a 125-room hotel.

Affordable housing provider Catalyst is promising to be busy in Luton, planning 600 new homes in the town between 2011 and 2020. Just 25% of the homes will be available for private sale, with many more for affordable rent and Shared Ownership.

New homes for sale in Luton now or coming soon:

Caddington Woods (Redrow Homes) – Opening this spring is this collection of three-, four- and five-bedroom homes Chaul End, in a hamlet between Luton and neighbouring Dunstable. The homes are located in an area of countryside and with a golf course around the corner, just minutes from the M1 and within easy reach of Luton’s railway station. Prices to be announced. Find out more about Caddington Woods from Redrow Homes Caddington Woods
Dallow Place (Persimmon Homes) – This collection of 54 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes is only a mile west of Luton’s town centre, putting a range of shops and leisure amenities within easy reach. Help to Buy and Persimmon’s own Home Change initiative are available to assist first-time buyers and home movers. Prices currently start at £230,000. Find out more at www.persimmonhomes.com ;  01582 343773Dallow Place
London Spring Place (Experience Invest) – This fully managed student accommodation is purpose-built and would make an inexpensive addition to a buy-to-let property portfolio, with prices from £63,750 for a studio. The rooms offer a guaranteed 8% net income for five years and are due for completion in the second half of 2017.Find out more about Experience Invest ; 020 7834 1113London Spring Place

Kaleidoscope (Linden Homes) – Just two three-bedroom properties remain for sale at this development in Dunstable, just ten minutes from Luton. Prices are from £290,000 to £295,000 and the properties will be completed early in 2016. The scheme of 109 properties is next to Central Bedfordshire College and within easy reach of local shops. Find out more at www.lindenhomes.co.uk ; 01582 788907


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