For decades, one of the most valuable features a London home could have was close proximity to a tube station. Today, for the first time in a long, long time, the average house price for homes near tube stations has fallen.
It’s not difficult to explain – during the pandemic, people are no longer commuting to work on a daily basis, are no longer jumping on tubes to see friends around the city, no longer coming home late at night after one-too-many drinks with colleagues.
In other words, living close to a tube station is no longer a real benefit, no longer something worth paying a premium for.
Research published by estate agent Benham and Reeves showed that property prices close to a London Underground stop now average £642,674, a drop of 2% on the ‘pre-pandemic average’ of £655,017.
Homes close to those tube lines which have closed completely during lockdown, including the Waterloo & City Line, have endured the most significant price drop – a massive 11% fall on the average price.
Homes near the Circle Line, which performs loops around Westminster, connecting everywhere from Camden to Hammersmith to Kensington, have seen a 7% fall in average value.
Let’s not be shortsighted
If a nearby tube station can’t be relied on to bring constant, reliable extra value to your home, what can we trust anymore? It’s always been a constant rule, solid through good times and bad, economic boom and collapse.
So what does this mean for the future of property prices in London?
In short, it means very little. Let’s not be shortsighted, the pandemic and lockdown is not going to last forever. And while it may have some lasting effects, may change the way we live and value our lives, Covid-19 will one day be a distant memory, and central London will be just as busy as it used to be.
Even if not everybody returns to a traditional 9-5 office-based job, an awful lot of people will. An awful lot of people will go back to needing convenient and reliable commutes into The City and will be more than happy to pay a premium for a home with good connections.
Property is only worth what people think it’s worth, what they’re willing to pay for it. At the moment, people don’t think nearby tube stations are necessary and therefore not valuable. But don’t be fooled: before you know it, transport links will be back at the top of people’s priority lists and prices will reflect this.