Here's the hottest tip in town

Buy in an area before a new Tube arrives for a sure property profit. David Spittles reveals the East London line’s new stations opening in 2010. Start your search now
From £365,000: studios suites at Ballymore's new Pan Peninsula scheme at Canary Wharf
From £365,000: studios suites at Ballymore's new Pan Peninsula scheme at Canary Wharf (Jubilee and DLR). Call 0800 404 8844
When work on an extension of the East London line is completed in 2010, Hackney in the capital’s north-east and Crystal Palace to the south will join the city’s Tube network and homebuyers will have the pick of some of Greater London’s best-value commuter homes.

But first to benefit could be those living along the existing East London line who are now struggling with its two-year closure. From Shoreditch to New Cross, current owners and canny investors are set to see a speedy hike in property values once the line (offering a fast and frequent new “Overground” service) reopens with modernised stations and some brand-new stops.

Using data from more than 3,500 estate agents in the capital, Michael O’Flynn, from Homesandproperty’s sister website, Findaproperty, says:

'There is a compelling case for
house-hunting now along the existing East London line,
especially as this will coincide with a property market lull.'

Until its closure in December, the East London line was the capital’s shortest Tube service, yet its eight stations touched valued City-fringe and Docklands locations, such as Shad Thames, Wapping and Limehouse. The average house price along the line’s established route is £459,469.

When the extended line reopens, to the north, Hackney will join the Tube network via new stations at Hoxton, Haggerston, Shoreditch and Dalston. In the south, Crystal Palace and West Croydon will link to the Tube via a chain of modernised rail stations. Dalston Junction station will be a commercial hub, with 500 flats built around its new station, plus a library, cafés and a public square. Barratt is the main residential developer. Call 020 8522 5555.

From £425,000: designer apartments at The Sugar House, in City Quarter
From £425,000: designer apartments at The Sugar House, in City Quarter, a converted Victorian building with a clocktower at Aldgate (on the District and Hammersmith & City lines). Call 020 3217 1000
The borough of Hackney will get a fast new link to the Tube, the 2012 Olympics dividend, canalside regeneration and is close to Canary Wharf. This will make it a major hotspot, believes Neil Young of property investment firm Young Group. London’s dozen Tube lines are the veins of the capital’s property map, and any major transport upgrade always injects fresh life into the areas that benefit, he says.

An analysis of homes within half a mile of a Tube station, prepared exclusively for Homes & Property, reveals some remarkable variations in values (see table opposite). The findings are a useful indicator of where good-value homes are to be found and which districts may “outperform” because of continuing local regeneration and wider transport improvements.

In particular, the analysis could be useful for first-time buyers seeking a low-budget home within reach of the Tube network.

The cheapest property zones are not always found at the ends of Tube lines, either, our survey shows. Aldgate, in central Zone 1, and New Cross, in Zone 2 stand out as affordable up-and-coming neighbourhoods. Tooting (on the Northern line) and Tottenham Hale (Victoria line) are other potential hotspots.

Being the only Tube line to run exclusively within central London, the Circle line tops the price chart. The station with the most expensive homes nearby is Hyde Park Corner on the Piccadilly line — average price, £2.18 million. In second place is Green Park (Jubilee and Piccadilly lines), which covers the posh postcodes of Mayfair and St James’s, where the average price of a home is £2.05 million.

Says’s O’Flynn: “We were surprised to find the District line in seventh position, given that it includes such areas as Fulham, Richmond and Wimbledon and follows the Circle line through much of central London.”

Lower-priced locations at the eastern reaches of the District line explain this. Homes close to Dagenham Heathway are among the cheapest on the entire Tube network at an average of only £204,256.

From £250,000: one- to three- bedroom flats at Berkley Homes's Forest Hill Central scheme
From £250,000: one- to three- bedroom flats at Berkley Homes's Forest Hill Central scheme. Up to eight new Overground trains an hour will run from Forest Hill to Canary Wharf from 2010. Call 020 8291 9499

Average price of homes
along London’s Tube lines

Circle £1,239,571
Victoria £1,109,107
Bakerloo £945,747
Hammersmith & City
Piccadilly £906,419
Jubilee £902,680
District £860,488
Northern £795,169
Metropolitan £786,096
Central £764,988
East London £459,649
Waterloo & City residential sample too small for analysis

Stations with the
lowest-priced homes within half a mile

Hatton Cross (Piccadilly): £201,633
Dagenham Heathway (District): £204,256
Barking (Hammersmith & City): £213,729
Debden (Central): £225,287
Tottenham Hale (Victoria): £238,056
Harrow and Wealdstone (Bakerloo): £266,197
West Ham (Jubilee): £269,222
New Cross Gate (East London): £274,388
West Harrow (Metropolitan): £276,929
Tooting Broadway (Northern): £323,432
Aldgate (Circle): £396,325

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