Train disruption is dragging down south-east housing markets

 

Strikes and delays affecting passengers of troubled train operator Southern Rail have dampened house prices along the route, as well as sales activity.

The disputes that have dragged on for around 18 months, affecting as many as 300,000 passengers using Southern Rail services, were resolved by the ASLEF union last month as drivers were awarded a 28.5% pay rise over the next five years.

However, according to Zoopla data, which was analysed by HouseSimple, the local housing markets have suffered. The research showed that the average property prices on three of the main rail routes had only seen growth of 2.2% over the past 12 months, compared to the local average rise of 4.6%.

Over the past three months, the price rise within the train operator’s network had contracted to just 0.75%, compared to the national average of 2.4%.

Double whammy for locals

Sales activity has also suffered along the train routes, with sales number down 21.2% compared to the average yearly rate over the last five years.

This month also saw more bad news for some passengers commuting to London using the operator, after it was revealed that sister franchise Thameslink was going to take over some of the journeys, leading to a 12% jump in fares for some commuters who buy a season ticket.

Stephen Trigg, RRDRUA (Reigate and Redhill District Rail Users Association) chairman, said: “It’s extraordinarily outrageous and is going to leave thousands of commuters out of pocket, when they already suffer the unfair Redhill pricing hump.”

Some areas along the Southern Rail train lines had sidestepped the downturn, though, according to figures, with Hove maintaining an 8.2% annual house price growth, and Redhill seeing a 4.7% annual rise, both above the national average.

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Train disruption is dragging down south-east housing markets

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