Commuter-friendly Sevenoaks is a hit with buyers leaving London

Finding somewhere offering fantastic transport links, great schools, a wide array of housing and within minutes of rolling countryside might sound a tall order, but Sevenoaks really is the full package.

The town is a short drive from the M25, has trains to four London terminals — London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross — and journey times equivalent to travelling from Zone 2 or 3.

It also boasts top state and private schools, there’s a high quota of green space and the vast National Trust-run stately pile Knole House to explore.

Residential properties include Victorian, Edwardian, 1930s, 50s and 60s houses and modern flats.

‘The entry point is about £200,000 for a one-bed flat, and £500,000 for a decent three-bed house, and the premium addresses are private Kippington Road, near the station, and Wildernesse Avenue, which has even bigger plots,’ says Glynn Amos of estate agency Humberts.

‘House prices in Sevenoaks have risen by 10-12% since the start of the pandemic though apartments have struggled, particularly those without outside space. Over 40% of buyers are coming directly from London, and the Victorian houses near Hollybush Park are very popular with them.’

What’s new on the block?

A shortage of space to build on means that most current developments are small-scale. The exception is Quinton Court by Berkeley, consisting of 60 one, two and three-bed apartments in an elegant red-brick building with basement parking and communal gardens, just over five minutes’ walk from the station.

They have large open plan living areas, kitchens fitted with Silestone quartz worktops and Siemens appliances, private outside space and can easily accommodate a home office. From £634,500 for a two-bed.

Selected one-beds are available at Quinton Court for shared ownership, from £89,375 for a 25% share of £357,500, through Savills.

The same estate agency is also marketing various individual luxury houses across the town, including in Oak Lane on the south side, where one five-bed house is left out of three.

Arranged over three floors, it has three bathrooms, bifold doors leading out to the south-facing garden from the kitchen/living/dining room and views over green belt land, £2.35million.

Or for the same price you might prefer Crofters, a four-storey, five-bed house on private Oakhill Road, complete with underfloor heating, a bespoke oak staircase and a flexible fifth bedroom that could be used as a gym or offfice.

Fiftyfive comprises eight two-bed apartments and two three-bed penthouses on Mount Harry Road, moments from the station. The majority have balconies overlooking the landscaped gardens and there’s underground parking and cycle storage, from £595,000, via Humberts.

What potential buyers need to know about Sevenoaks

Average house price: £703,246

Average rent: £1,844 pcm

Council tax (Band D): £2,071.14

Commuting time to Zone 1: from 23 minutes to London Bridge

Annual season ticket: £4,564

Amenities: ★★★★☆ Independents and big brands on the high street which has fared reasonably well post-pandemic; Bligh’s Meadow shopping centre; Wednesday and Saturday markets; live performances and screenings at the Stag arts centre; The Vine is one of England’s oldest cricket grounds

Open space: ★★★★☆ 1,000 acre Knole Park; Hollybush Park; Bradbourne Lakes; Sevenoaks Common

Schools: ★★★★☆ Above average GCSE results; nearly all state schools judged outstanding or good by Ofsted; Tunbridge Wells Grammar School For Boys and Weald of Kent Grammar (girls) both have campuses in the town; Sevenoaks School is a co-ed independent

Crime: Far below national average for all offences

Who lives there? Young couples and families, often leaving London

Famous faces: Gloria Hunniford has lived in Sevenoaks since 1984; The Beatles filmed in Knole Park

Schools, crime and house price data supplied by Zoopla

What can I afford on the property ladder?

£249,950

A roomy one-bed second floor conversion close to the station and town centre. Has plenty of storage, off-road parking and a communal garden.

Check it out via John Kingston

£700,000

Built in the late 1800s, this charming three-bed cottage is in a sought-after village a short distance from Sevenoaks, and full of original period features.

Check it out via Hamptons

£2.9million

This massive seven-bed, five-bath house is on a private road within walking distance of the station. It’s been completely renovated by the present owners.

Check it out via Knight Frank

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