As legal challenges and political manoeuvring over Brexit rumble on, London’s property market remains open for business. Of course, business may not be as brisk as it was a couple of months ago, but it remains a popular place to live and invest in.
For many City workers, buying a home close to a tube station is an essential part of keeping their daily commute to a minimum. It also makes for an easy journey home after a night out at one of London’s many theatres, restaurants, bars and all the other innovative events and social activities the city has to offer.
So, in order to see how much that sort of convenience can cost, we took a look at some recent research from TotallyMoney.com showing the average price of a property within a 0.5 KM radius of each of London’s tube stations.
“That London homes with that level of convenience are more expensive than those further away from stations wasn’t a surprise,” said Knightsbridge based estate agent, Plaza Estates. “But, that it costs over £50,000 just for a space the size of a double mattress in some areas is probably a bit of an eye-opener for some.”
As you would expect, the research shows that south west London is home to the most expensive properties with Knightsbridge topping the table at £2,214 per square foot, followed by High Street Kensington at £2,000 per square foot. The cheapest stations are in east London; Upney costs an average of £317 per square foot with Barking a close second at £321.
On a complete tube line basis, meanwhile, the Hammersmith and City line comes in at the priciest at an average of £1,125 per square foot. At the other end of the spectrum, the Metropolitan line – which travels right into Buckinghamshire – is the cheapest at £504 per square foot.
At these prices it’s easy to see why buying a home in London remains out of so many people’s reach and why renting in London is a much more common path for many City workers. However, the price of convenience remains high in that sphere too as research from homeless charity Shelter shows.
According to Shelter, the cost of renting in zone 1 on a London tube map is unaffordable, or costs more than 50% of a couple’s monthly take-home earnings, where one works full-time and one part-time. It classes zone 2 as difficult to afford with the average rent at between 35% and 50% of an average couple’s take-home pay. Zone 3, meanwhile is affordable – on average – costing below 35% of a couple’s take-home pay.
“This information isn’t unexpected and zone 3 is well-served by tube stations going into central London for the city’s many workers,” said Best Gapp. “However, for people hoping to save for a deposit to buy a home of their own, 35% of take-home pay accounts for a significant chunk of their earnings which explains why it takes renters such a long time to save enough.”
Research shows that Londoners are having to make a choice – the convenience of a short commute tends to mean that those who want to buy their own home will have to save for longer. If you’re willing to have a loner journey, however, that first rung of the housing ladder could be closer.