September 14, 2016
In SK4, 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 The Heatons 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 in the 10 years up to the start of 2016, average sold prices within 1km of Heaton Chapel Station rose by 17.8% compared with 10.2% within 2km, which represents a premium of 7.6%. This means that for every 250m you live closer to the station, the average property price rose by 1.9% more. 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 displays 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.