Mortgages 

Southern Rail chaos dampens house price growth

Southern Rail chaos dampens house price growth

Southern Rail's continued industrial action has caused house prices to slow for properties located along the network, research by online estate agent, eMoov.co.uk has proved.

The research has found that house price growth across the Southern Rail network has increased at a slower rate than England as a whole. 

A year ago this month Southern Rail was voted in the top three worst rail providers by commuters and since then there has been nine months of commuting chaos, with strike action, lack of available drivers available and timetable reschedules causing chaos for commuters.

According to Russell Quirk, founder and chief executive of eMoov.co.uk, some employers have already refused applicants using a Southern Rail service "as the reality is that they will often arrive to work late".

"But not only are commuters’ professional lives being impacted, it would seem property prices along Southern Rail commuter lines are also suffering".

Using data from Zoopla, eMoov collected the average price paid and value change surrounding each station across all nine of the Southern Rail network lines.

The research looked at the price growth over the last 12 months, as well as the last six, comparing each line on Southern Rail and the network as a whole, to price growth across England during the same time periods.

The research by eMoov has shown:

  • House prices across England have increased by 7.6 per cent in the last year. For those living across the Southern Rail network, property price growth reached just 6.5 per cent in the same period.
  • Over the past six months, across England, homeowners enjoyed an average increase of 3 per cent in property values. But those on the Southern Rail network saw the average property price rise by just 1.4 per cent overall.
  • With an average price of £447,539 across the Southern Rail network, homeowners are paying above the national average of £222,484, according to Halifax data, "only for its potential to be blighted by an external factor such as an inadequate train operator", Mr Quirk commented.
  • The worst affected line is Mainline West where prices have increased by just 5.4 per cent in the last year and just 0.2 per cent in the last six months.

Mr Quirk added: “This research really highlights the impact external factors can have on a property’s value in the market. Often, the close proximity of good commuter links into London, in particular, can help increase the asking price of a property.

"In this instance, strike action, poor service, cancelled trains and long delays have had the reverse effect to property prices on the Southern Rail network.

"It is worrying to think that something outside of your control can not only be detrimental to your work life but can also spill over into your personal life as well.

"Southern Rail staff must forgive UK homeowners for remaining unsympathetic to their cause when their selfish actions are inadvertently depreciating the most expensive asset they are ever likely to own.”

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com

 

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