A leading property sales portal has found people are searching for homes near to train stations as the gradual return to offices begins.
With a quick route into the office rising up the priority list again for commuters, Right Move says it has seen a big jump in buyer searches for homes near commuter stations outside of London. In fact, eight of the top 10 stations that have seen more interest from home-hunters are all within an hour’s train commute from a major city.
Chelmsford station, where the average price of buying a home is £400,626, is top of list. Searches for homes near this Essex hub have seen a 107% increase from June to August this year, as more people gradually returned to their morning commute, at least for part of the week.
Sittingbourne Station, an hour’s train commute from London, saw a rise of 47% in buyer searches, while Crewe, just under an hour from Birmingham, saw a jump of 32%.
Meanwhile, two of the stations in the top 10, Liverpool Lime Street and Southampton Central, are in central city locations, suggesting a desire from some to live closer to work.
Top 10 stations by buyer search increase (outside London)
Jump in buyer searches: Jun-Aug 2021
1. Chelmsford station +107%
2. Liverpool Lime Street Station +59%
3. Sittingbourne Station +47%
4. Crewe Station +32%
5. Hassocks Station +32%
6. MediaCityUK Tram Stop +32%
7. Southampton Central Station +30%
8. Chesterfield Station +30%
9. Folkestone West Station +27%
10. Kettering Station +26%
Property expert Tim Bannister says: “Although some stations such as Chelmsford are always popular, the notable increase from June to August suggests the growing importance of the morning commute for those who don’t work locally.
“While the demand to relocate or search for more space has by no means gone away, the numbers suggest that this will need to be balanced with easy transport access on office days, which has understandably been lower on the agenda for many over the last eighteen months.”