LONDON — It is a truth universally acknowledged that buying a house anywhere near the centre of London is impossible for people in their 20s unless they're a banker, or have lived on value baked beans and supermarket own-brand cornflakes for their entire life, saving every penny they earn.
The difficulty of buying a property in the capital has forced younger buyers into a variety of different solutions, including buying a house with strangers.
Simply leaving the capital for a town a few miles from the city and commuting back and forth every day is becoming a popular alternative.
But, as more and more people move to so-called commuter towns, so property prices in those areas rise.
In a new report focusing on the future of the British economy, Big Four professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers illustrates just how much commuter towns are seeing house prices grow.
"Many towns and cities within the commuter belt have recently experienced stronger price growth than London," the firm's UK Economic Outlook notes.
"One of the primary reasons for this is the affordability crisis within London, which has seen first-time buyers in particular struggling to buy in the capital. In 2016, house prices in London were 13 times median earnings, while the 15 commuter belt towns offer a lower (albeit still high) ratio of 9 times earnings," it continues.
Commuter towns to the east of London in Essex, like Braintree and Basildon, are currently experiencing the fastest growth, while those to the south and west of London in Surrey have seen prices stagnate.
Check out PwC's map of price growth below:
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