Why HS2 is likely to cause a surge in London property prices

James Morton of London High-End Estate Agent, Benham and Reeves, explains why he believes that the new HS2 development will see London house prices rise.

The UK may now have a fast link from London to Paris, but travel between the UK’s main cities is considerably more difficult.  Commuters report slow, congested trains, inadequate seating, expensive fares, delays and strikes.  Unless you are on platform 9¾ waiting for the Hogwarts Express, chances are you won’t currently be describing your train journey as ‘magical’.

The new planned HS2 high speed rail line will initially link London to the Midlands, with later phases set to reach as far as Scotland.   The new link promises to increase capacity on Britain’srailways – slashing journey times and giving more passengers a seat.

The £55 billion project has been branded a “game-changer” by ministers because many services are currently “full to overflowing”, and the new shorter journey times will open the capital up to more commuters, and give Londoners the chance to explore more of the UK.

You could be forgiven for thinking that house prices drop as commutability increases.  However, HS1 and Crossrail experience teaches us that transport developments have the opposite effect, and we are expecting to see an increase in house prices, particularly those local to the new stops.  The increased capacity will bring more people to the Capital.

The Phase One route has four station stops – London Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street.  The two London stops are set to benefit from a £3 Bn investment and we expect to see housing prices rise, and an extra 4,000 people working in the area as the development gets underway.

HS2 has big plans for improving London Euston Station, which includes 6 new platforms, a new concourse, new shops, prestigious new homes and new office buildings.  The average price in this area is currently £825 pr sq. foot, but luxury homes can fetch up to £1250 per sq foot.  We are expecting the development to create a surge in property prices in this already popular area.

As for the constructors, HS2 Chief Executive, Mark Thurston recently said:

“We’re looking for the best the construction industry has to offer.”

London deserves nothing less.

Five bidders have already been named as in the running forthe Euston Master Development Partner contract. These include: Westfield Europe, Euston Regeneration Partnership (led by Argent), Canary Wharf Group, Land Securities and Lendlease Europe.  Designs are underway.

Meanwhile, Old Oak Common, an area of North-West London currently known for its railway depots and industrial estates, looks set to benefit from a massive new transport hub, with stations for HS2, Crossrail,Overground and Underground services as well as 25,000 brand new homes.

North West London is already a popular place to live, and HS2 is likely to create even higher prices in this increasingly affluent part of the capital.  The average price in NW3 is currently £805 per sq. foot, but these prices are expected to rise significantly as work commences.

Our advice to potential buyers is to look now, as you could find yourself priced out of the property market further down the line.

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