What do improved rail links mean for property prices?

12th August 2016

The gap between property values in the north and south has been slowly increasing over the years, yet this could all be about to change. The High Speed 2 railway line is designed to cut journey times and create a stronger link between London and the north of England. As well as making life for commuters a great deal easier it is also likely to bring in a huge amount of money to cities above London. The high speed rail link could add an estimated £540m to the North East economy. The development of this line will also likely drive up property prices in northern cities, so perhaps now is the time to invest. Commercial property prices are also likely to increase as businesses feel more confident settling in the north without being disconnected from the capital.

Within the capital property prices are also likely to see change. Developments are beginning to be pushed further out into zones 3 to 6 rather than the focus remaining in central London as transport links improve. Crossrail I, now known as the Elizabeth Line, is said to have added £5.5bn to property values along its route. Crossrail 2 is the proposed successor and is intended to link Surrey to Hertfordshire via London. Property prices along the line are expected to soar, however, as the line will not launch until 2030 it is a great time to consider investing as prices have not yet begun to increase significantly.

Manchester’s Metrolink network is also set to expand which is likely to increase property prices across the city. When the new Airport line was launched in 2014, sales around Wythenshawe doubled and as the Metrolink continues to grow as part of the city’s Grow programme it is likely that property around the new stops will see a price increase. The investment to the infrastructure of Manchester city centre is great news for businesses and property owners as the city becomes more accessible and well connected. Funding worth £3.5m has been approved to create a hub for digital and creative businesses at a site located close to Central Park Metrolink stop highlighting the importance of this growing line.

The South West is also seeing property prices increase with the electrification of the rail line between Bristol and London. Travel time is set to reduce significantly between the cities following the completion of the works in 2018. The electrification of the line is also likely to encourage new flight routes to open from Bristol Airport creating new business opportunities across the city. This will likely increase prices of commercial property as they become more sought after, it is expected that prices will continue to rise once the improvements are completed so now is the time to think about finding your place in the Bristol market.

Tony Freeman
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