In SE18, the streets where homes sell fastest and command the highest price-per-square-foot aren’t always the most lavish, they’re the ones that are the best-connected. After all, there’s a reason why the most popular property programme on TV is called Location, Location, Location.
As your local agents, we’re often asked all sorts of questions regarding our market, but the most common question is always “which is the best part of SE18 to live in these days?”, particularly from newcomers. Of course, the answer is different for each client because of things like their family situation, age and hobbies etc. But one of the primary requirements for most buyers is ease of access to public transport. Many of us regularly use public transport so we don’t want to live a million miles away from our local station if we have to commute into work each day.
Public transport is actually becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel. In fact, in Britain, passengers made 1.32 billion train journeys in 2010 (according to the Association of Train Operating Companies), a rise of 37% in a decade and the most since the 1920s.
Location has a huge effect on the price and saleability of a home, and in our experience houses and ﬂats close to a train station always sell and rent quickly. To illustrate the point we did some spatial interpolation of property price data, also known as number crunching! Our analysis showed that properties within 1km of Woolwich Arsenal Station (which includes the area of the forthcoming Crossrail Station) attract a premium of 8.0% over those 2km away, with current average sold price sitting at £359,800 compared with £333,100. This means that for every 250m you live closer to the station, the average property price rose by £6,700. If that doesn’t convince you that stations matter, we don’t know what will.
It affects the rental market, too. If you’re an investor looking for a buy-to-let property, or a renter looking for your next home, the distance to and from the station is extremely important. One of the first things renters do when searching for somewhere to live is look at the nearest station’s proximity to the property. That’s why Rightmove and Zoopla display the distance to the station alongside each listing. Ideally renters want a speedy commute to their work or university, and they want an even speedier walk from their home to the nearest station.
In fact, proximity to a station has become so important most renters and buyers are happily willing to sacrifice space, both indoor and outdoor, to be in a better location — and that 1km halo around the station is a hotspot for professionals in SE18.
If you want your next home to be close to a local transport station, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll advise you on finding the perfect place for speedy and hassle free commutes. Alternatively, if you have a home nearby a local station and would like to know it’s value, we’re always happy to help.