Metro - 13 December 2012
The London Orbital Rail Route
By Jo Eccles
Boris Johnson formally opened London’s first ‘orbital rail route’ last weekend, marking the final phase of a £1 billion Overground upgrade. The new rail route will now allow people to travel around London without having to go into the centre of the city via the tube system, making it possible to complete an outer orbital route of London without having to leave the rail network, albeit not yet on the same train. This is great news for those who live in certain areas outside of central London, e.g. Wandsworth, who need to commute to North London in order to catch a train outside of London. The same applies for those commuting into London from Highbury & Islington, but need to get South, e.g. Clapham Junction.
If you’re looking to buy, transport is always a key factor. When house hunting, a lot of buyers assess where their friends and family are, and where they need to commute to work. With transport in the peripheral areas improving (and we will see this even more with the Crossrail), buyers can start focusing on areas they might have previously overlooked because of their awkward travel connections. This new route will provide between 4 and 8 trains per hour, and we should start to see people spreading out as the demand or need to be central declines.
There are some parts of London which are absolutely charming and affordable, but they’re like that for a reason – because they’re often not that easy to travel to and from. This will hopefully change, and we should start to see the DNA of London’s housing market change as the pressure on being central eases. New communities should start to improve and develop, too, which will be great for house prices. If you buy into these areas soon, you’re likely to do very well when they do eventually come to sell, as long as you’re taking a long enough view of the market (usually 5 – 10 years) to allow the changes to happen.