Buy­ers want the train to take the strain

Buy­ing prop­erty close to a rail­way sta­tion could be a shrewd move, thanks to ris­ing petrol prices. Sharon Dale re­ports.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

RAIL travel is not the per­fect mode of pub­lic trans­port thanks to de­lays, over-crowd­ing and ticket prices, yet more of us are tak­ing the train.

This rise in the num­ber of com­muters ditch­ing their cars to avoid road con­ges­tion and as­tro­nom­i­cal fuel costs, has re­sulted in a prop­erty phe­nom­e­non.

Graham Bates, of Ed­dis­ons es­tate agents in the Leeds sub­urb of Hors­forth, says: “We have seen buyer en­quiries for prop­er­ties near train sta­tions on the Ilk­ley to Leeds line rise by just un­der a third in the last few months, and I think this is a trend that will con­tinue well into the fu­ture.

“One of the main rea­sons for this is fuel costs, but con­ges­tion is an­other ma­jor fac­tor. Peo­ple don’t want to sit in rush-hour traf­fic.

“We also find fam­i­lies mov­ing to places with train links so their chil­dren can have more in­de­pen­dence to travel on their own with­out be­ing fer­ried about by par­ents.”

He adds: “The most com­mon ques­tions we are asked are: ‘How close is it to the train sta­tion?’ and ‘Can you park at the sta­tion?’

“I re­ally think sell­ers and their agents should fo­cus more on a prop­erty’s prox­im­ity to a train sta­tion. It’s some­thing we have started to do in sales par­tic­u­lars and it’s def­i­nitely a sell­ing point.”

To back this up, Ed­dis­ons re­veal that homes near to sta­tions sell much more quickly than those fur­ther away.

Kevin Hollinrake, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Hun­ters Prop­erty Group, has seen a sim­i­lar sce­nario in York and be­lieves that these prop­er­ties can also fetch a hefty pre­mium.

“There is ab­so­lutely no ques­tion that the price of petrol and the con­ve­nience of train travel mean that more peo­ple want to live near a rail­way sta­tion.

“It is more cost-ef­fec­tive, even though fares are go­ing up. Peo­ple will pay more for a prop­erty in walk­ing dis­tance of a sta­tion.”

The most ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple of this is York city cen­tre, says Kevin.

Hun­ters re­cently sold a two-bed­room ter­raced house, in Kyme Street, which is five min­utes walk from the sta­tion, for £209,950. A sim­i­lar prop­erty in a less con­ve­nient part of the city would cost £150,000.

“We also sold a lovely pent­house over­look­ing the river and close to the sta­tion for £475,000, and there were two of­fers for it. There is def­i­nitely more de­mand for prop­erty that is very cen­tral in York and we are see­ing more peo­ple who want to live with­out a car al­to­gether be­cause they re­alise this is the kind of place where they can.”

Other ar­eas that have be­come more de­sir­able thanks to their sta­tions, are Mal­ton, which is a 27-minute train ride into York and about an hour to Leeds.

Thirsk, too, is ben­e­fit­ing and is 20 min­utes from York and about an hour from Leeds.

Kevin sug­gests that any­one who wants to let the train take the strain should look at whether they want to walk to the sta­tion or park and ride.

If you’re con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a lit­tle fur­ther out and park­ing at the sta­tion, do your home­work. Some have free car parks and oth­ers charge, but space is al­ways lim­ited. Ar­rive af­ter 8am and you may not get a space.

“There is a huge vari­a­tion in charges. In York, you can pay £15 a day to park; in Thirsk, it is £3, and in other places park­ing is free and there’s lots of it.”

In the medium-to-long-term, ge­og­ra­phers are pre­dict­ing a big shift to­wards to pub­lic trans­port and to liv­ing close to your place of your work, mak­ing city cen­tres and sub­urbs with good train, tram or bus trans­port links, even more pop­u­lar.

Dr Rachael Unsworth, of Leeds Univer­sity School of Ge­og­ra­phy, says: “I am not at all sur­prised to hear that more peo­ple are en­quir­ing about liv­ing near sta­tions.

“This is a turn­ing point when ex­treme com­mut­ing starts to re­duce and peo­ple ad­just in var­i­ous ways. They will down­size the car to an eco­nom­i­cal one, change jobs, tele­work or move house to be closer to work or at least closer to a pub­lic trans­port hub.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.