Help us understand Harpenden property prices!

(4 Posts)
BananaMuffin Tue 20-Sep-11 18:24:43

We're thinking of moving from central London to Harpenden and would really appreciate a local's perspective on East/West Common vs in the 'Avenues' as a place to live. It seems that you get at least twice as much for your money in the 'Commons' and yet they're only a very short drive from the centre. Are we missing something? Are the people who live there perceived differently by those who live in central Harpenden? I can understand the benefits of living within walking distance of the station/shops/schools, but i'm still surprised by the huge price differential. Thanks for any advice!

Pawsnclaws Fri 23-Sep-11 10:14:41

It's the schools issue I think. The big family houses in town are in the catchment for the more popular schools. West Common is beautiful but you'll find many of the children are at private schools (two of my three ds are at one and I would say more than half of their friends live in West Common).

BTW please don't trust an agent in relation to school catchments. It's not just a question of distance it also depends on where other people's nearest school is.

QueenofHerts Fri 23-Sep-11 12:14:29

It's schools
South of harpenden and common area not good for schools catchment (though Paws is right that West Common is pretty well private school city anyway wink)
Avenues highly sought after as proximity to v good primary and secondary schools. In fact, if you see any family home in st albans or harpenden and you think 'wow, that's cheap for the area!' the price almost certainly reflects schools issue. I'm from St A rather than H so can't advise on details of roads

Mokemum Sun 25-Sep-11 19:18:10

Personal perspective as a Harpenden resident.

If I had unlimited funds, I'd live in the Avenues - it's close to town, close to the Rothamstead Park and has some very lovely properties. West Common is often a car ride to the station, the station car park gets incredibly busy, so if you're driving you have to get there early, being within walking distance of the station is very handy if you like late starts. West Common also feels a little more conservative, a bit dull, a bit wealthy & retired - that's personal opinion. Both are regarded locally as high status areas.

Neither location is particularly good when it comes to state schools - West Common has had problems in the past accessing Harpenden Secondaries being that bit further away...the Avenues is closest to St Nicks and St Dominics but they are faith schools and unless you are a church goer forget getting anywhere near them, you don't have a hope!

For standard state primary, neither location is very close but given the prices you pay for either location, funding independent primary schooling shouldn't be a problem.

I wouldn't be too concerned about either location though, they are both very lovely. We moved from London a few years ago and we love it here. Hope you find a property you like, there never seems to be much on the market.

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