Map your house hunting future: new homes hotspots along the London Overground route, from Euston to Watford Junction

Canny home buyers are already looking along the orbital route from Euston to Watford Junction, where the high-speed rail superhub is in-waiting.
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Euston has always seemed a place to pass through rather than somewhere to live. The big, bustling station taking commuters and intercity travellers north has set a tone of transience, with little sense of neighbourhood. Office towers loom over car-clogged Euston Road, the congestion charge boundary and one of the capital’s most pedestrian-unfriendly thoroughfares.

However, the area is getting a major overhaul and is earmarked for a spectacular King’s Cross-style transformation, courtesy of HS2, the proposed £50 billion second high-speed rail link that MPs voted for overwhelmingly in April. Home buyers who move in now are likely to reap future rewards.



Early proposals for the main 35-acre Euston estate include homes, shops and offices above and around a new station, plus high-quality public space. This will not only improve the neighbourhood and make life better for locals using the Overground and Tube, but, once HS2 is up and running, long-distance commuting in the UK will be revolutionised. The journey from Euston to Birmingham will be slashed to 49 minutes — quicker than the trip to many M25 commuter towns — while Manchester and Leeds will be within 75 minutes of London. 
The first HS2 trains to Birmingham could be running from Euston in 12 years’ time, but estate agent Greene & Co says the area is already enticing people out of the West End. “Regeneration is rolling and we are seeing a surge in demand, particularly from graduates, young professionals and buy-to-let investors.”


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Spots to watch
The masterplan for Euston, in the NW1 postcode, seeks to make the most of  the area’s sprinkling of fine period  buildings, such as the defunct National Temperance Hospital. The district’s strong academic and charitable links, with university buildings and medical campuses including the Wellcome Trust, also give it character.

Flats at a new development on Chalton Street cost from £365,000. At the other end of the spectrum, a five-storey building with six bedrooms above ground-floor shop premises is on the market for £1.7 million in scruffy Eversholt Street, which runs alongside the station and seems bound to get a facelift. Call Foxtons on 020 7973 2020. Lisson Grove, an edgy patch just north of the station on the Maida Vale border, is cheaper, with Right to Buy resales costing from £275,000.

Somers Town, between Euston and St Pancras, is worth watching. Now largely council estates, it is regarded as a “lost quarter” and is being targeted for new private housing. When first developed in the late 18th century it was envisaged as a middle-class address but suffered when the London and Birmingham Railway cut through the area in the 1830s. Another micro spot to watch is around Drummond Street, best known for Indian restaurants, where gentrification has started. House builders are also scouting for sites around the northern tip of Euston towards Mornington Crescent.
Kensal Green and Kilburn are seen as promising Zone 2 areas — straight up Edgware Road from Marble Arch and nearer the centre than Hammersmith or Hackney. Both are attracting buyers priced out of Queen’s Park, itself very hip, with a farmers’ market, bistros, boutiques and delis around the  Chamberlayne Road heartland.
Kilburn has street cred, but is crisscrossed with railway lines that have, over the years, created pockets of urban blight and held back gentrification. Comprehensive regeneration of the sprawling South Kilburn council estate involves bulldozing Sixties concrete blocks and building 2,400 new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale. Call L&Q on 0844 406 9800. Property prices here are lower than in other inner north-west London postcodes despite the decent range of homes, from flats — mostly conversions — to quaint artisans’ cottages, Victorian terraces and Edwardian villas between Salusbury Road and Kilburn High Road.

Harlesden, once avoided by homebuyers because of gang crime, retains a hard urban edge, but the area is changing and its potential is slowly being recognised. For now it is one of the cheapest inner-London locations, attracting young workers in search of housing association fair rents, shared-ownership deals and flats priced below the £250,000 stamp duty threshold, available at New Stonebridge Park, part of a £225 million regeneration initiative bringing 1,400 homes. Call Hyde housing on 020 7758 8475.

From £330,000:
for one-bedroom flats in North West Village, above left, in the new district of Wembley City

Nearby Old Oak, a wilderness of railway freight depots and the proposed site of a Crossrail and HS2 superhub, will one day set the seal on local regeneration. One stop further on, Wembley is another place in transition. Wembley City is a new district being built around the stadium, with round-the-clock local amenities. Quintain, the developer, is aiming to bring West End-style glitz to the area with a fashion outlet, bars, nightclubs and destination restaurants alongside the well-established sporting and entertainment venue. North West Village, the latest phase, has one-bedroom parkside apartments priced from £330,000, and two-bedroom flats from £420,000. On-site amenities include gym, cinema and concierge. Call Savills on 020 7016 3793.

Harrow and Wealdstone are united by a train station, but are two distinct places. The former, a leafy, prosperous suburb, is famous for its public school, while the latter is a working-class  district with a manufacturing legacy that is spawning sites for housing. Essence in Wealdstone High Street offers shared-ownership apartments priced from £90,000 for 50 per cent. Monthly costs of mortgage, rent and service charge start at £857. Call Origin Housing association on 0800 068 8990. Help to Buy is available on 10 apartments priced from £215,000.

Shared-ownership homes: 
The Wrap is a new block grafted on to Watford FC stadium’s terraces

Watford symbolises London’s outer boundary. In Zone W, its own travel zone, the Oyster card applies, along with certain discounted fares. In effect, Watford is a buffer town between the capital and Hertfordshire, with a lively commercial centre sustained by 20-minute train links to Euston.
Piecemeal regeneration in and around the town centre has spawned several apartment schemes, while even the football stadium incorporates homes. The Wrap is a contemporary-design new block grafted on to the stadium’s terraces. Residents have their own private access via a side road. For shared-ownership resales, call Origin Housing on 020 7209 9300.

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