Train frequency and house prices

The problems surrounding changes to local commuter train services has led to a flurry of comments on social media and the creation of numerous internet forums where people can vent their anger. The new timetables introduced by Thameslink and other train companies over the last few months have coincided with the recent spell of warm weather and got many locals hot under the collar, with unpredictable and cancelled services and even more overcrowding.

This has led to some property experts suggesting that these problems could knock up to 15% off house prices in affected commuter towns around London. Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents said:

“By the very fact that these places are referred to as commuter towns, when you reduce their commutability it will have a detrimental effect on house prices……The frequency and reliability of trains are paramount to commuter towns desirability.”

Online estate agent eMoov analysed house prices in the region served by Southern Rail during the long-running disputes affecting their services in 2016. The area, south of London, saw house prices increase overall by 1.4% during a six-month period beset by strikes, compared with an average 3% increase across England as a whole. Attention-grabbing headlines lamented the fact that house prices had risen 50% more slowly than the national average, whilst ignoring the fact that in spite of all the aggravation for commuters, house prices had still risen by 1.4% during the worst period.

Train frequency and reliability are clearly a hugely important part of the lives of a great many Hertfordshire residents. The subject has no doubt been the main topic of conversation at many a local dinner party over recent months, and the situation appears no nearer a permanent solution.  Partial re-introduction of previous timetables and delays in introducing new ones have only muddied things even more.

However, in spite of the daily difficulties faced by thousands of local commuters, it is hard to envisage that house prices in our region will be badly affected in the long run. Hertfordshire has too many other things going for it in terms of schools, attractive towns and communities, motorway and airport links, as well as access to the countryside. And we Brits are generally an optimistic lot, believing that eventually things will sort themselves out.

Despite the hysteria on social media, all the talk of disgrace, shambles and the wrecking of peoples’ lives, maybe the last word should be left to someone called Will, who posted this message on the House Price Crash Forum: Don’t underestimate the masochism of the UK commuter.

Bretherton Law we have been serving the people of Hertfordshire for over 50 years. Our team of experienced and professional Property Lawyers will ensure that whether you are buying or selling, the conveyancing process will run as smoothly as possible. Contact us on 01727 869293 or use the contact form below. 

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