Transport remains a key concern for anyone looking to purchase a property, while the importance is particularly heightened for those commuting into places like London and Birmingham – and better transport means higher house prices.
In recent years, train stations that have seen the largest increase in passenger use, partly attributed to more people migrating away from city centres, have seen the highest volume of new homes delivered in the surrounding area, according to a recent report from Savills.
Areas where train station passengers have increased have also seen property prices go up by an average of 5% more than surrounding areas as demand rises, particularly with the recent exodus of young professionals from London looking for more affordable homes – and it is something developers and investors could benefit from if they invest in the right places.
Movers to the Midlands
The recently upgraded Birmingham New Street station has seen 33% more passenger footfall since 2015, and house prices within 2km of there have soared by 44% over the past five years. With HS2 set to bring further vast transport improvements, the area around Curzon Street station which will be part of the new line has already seen major investment and regeneration, with house prices growing accordingly.
To put the figures into perspective, house prices around Birmingham New Street come with an average 14% premium compared to the surrounding area, where property prices rose by an average 30% over the five-year period.
Rugby, Coventry and Long Buckby, which are all situated within relatively close commuter proximity to Birmingham, have seen passenger numbers rise by around 18-19% in the same time period, and this has pushed house prices up in turn – Rugby by 35%, Coventry by 46% and Long Buckby by 67% over the past five years.
Commuter zone around London
Around London, the top house price growth within 2km of a commuter train station was around Ebbsfleet International in the borough of Dartford, Kent, where house prices have risen by a huge 81% over the past five years. This is 22% higher than the price rises seen in the surrounding Dartford area, which increased by 59%. Aylesbury Parkway and Luton Airport Parkway have also seen impressive house price rises within 2km of the stations, of 53% and 42% over the past five years.
According to Savills, the ripple effects of these trends will move beyond London’s commuter zone to markets in the Midlands and the north.
“These markets have seen house prices rise more in line with wages, and therefore remain more affordable. They will have the most capacity for growth over the next few years,” said Savills.
“Infrastructure investment and a strong local economy are likely to remain catalysts for residential demand and house price growth. The £1.7bn Transforming Cities Fund will provide funding for improved connectivity in areas such as Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire, the West Midlands and Liverpool City Region.”