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Article > How Proximity to the London Underground Affects Rental Prices in the Capital

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For those who work in England’s capital city, transport links have a major impact on where they choose to live. One of London’s biggest draws is the opportunities it presents, such as higher average incomes and greater job opportunities. City centre employment is one of the major reasons that people immerse themselves in the hustle and bustle of city life, so being able to get to headquarters quickly and easily is a commodity that’s much sought after.

As a result, transport links have a major effect on property prices. The city is vast and sprawling, and the London Underground is the string that connects the dots, holding it all together. This phenomenon is not exclusive to the capital; in every major city, properties on commuting routes command the highest prices. The majority of employers are located in the centre, so everyone wants to be in the midst of the action.

So, if you want access to the heart of London, how much will this hot commodity cost you?

A Hot Commodity

If you were to head to the capital city today in search of a property to rent, chances are that you would see a major price disparity between very similar properties based on their location. This is not unusual; a number of factors influence home values, from their postcode to their proximity to shops and eateries, local schools and the owner/renter demographic.

Nearness to a commuting route also has its part to play, and in London this is largely determined by a property’s closeness to the London Underground. A study by Wetherell in 2013 indicated that a difference in proximity of just one tube stop from the centre could mean a price disparity amounting to tens of thousands of pounds between similar properties; the difference between two zones was even greater.

Rental Prices by Zone

According to data from HomeLet, the economic downturn seems to have exacerbated this effect. This phenomenon has triggered a change in commuting trends in London, with many workers opting to travel a shorter distance – 3 miles on average – in order to reach their place of employment. This has driven up prices in Zone 1, which includes the city’s major business and financial sectors, and so employs millions. House prices have risen by a dramatic 37 per cent in the last year alone, and 52 per cent since 2010, as properties within this area have become ever more sought after. Conversely, the results have also been felt in Zone 8, which is much further from the action, with property prices having fallen 3 per cent since 2013.

With the economy showing the first tentative signs of recovery, it will be very interesting to see how this impacts commuting trends and, importantly, property prices for central and outlying zones going forward into 2015.

Homelet infographic

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