Will Oyster cards give Epsom the edge over Ewell as the top commuter homes hotspot?

As Epsom joins the Oyster network, this affluent Surrey town could gain a clear lead against neighbouring Ewell in the race to attract commuters.
Residents of Epsom will have something to celebrate in September, with the arrival of the Oyster card.
Presently, commuters who live in the affluent Surrey town are just outside the Oyster network, and their weekly travelcard costs £62.10.
Neighbouring Ewell, a mile-and-a-half up the road, is within the network, which means commuters making five daily trips to work pay £51 per week at peak times and £31 per week at off-peak times, an annual saving of between £1,617.20 and £577.20 respectively.
So now they are going to be equal as commuter spots, will Epsom pip Ewell at the post in the desirability stakes?
  • Trains to Victoria from Epsom’s single station take an average of 42 minutes, according to Savills
  • Ewell commuters skim four minutes off that journey, with a 38-minute commute. Trains from Epsom to Waterloo take 38 minutes, but from Ewell, they take 35 minutes.
However, different services run to and from Ewell’s two stations.
Robert Muat, sales manager at Aston Mead, believes Epsom’s entry into the Oyster network will have a positive impact on prices. “I’m not saying we will see 20 per cent rises, but it will make it a bit more attractive, and longer-term there is the possibility of Crossrail II terminating at Epsom, albeit not for 10 or 15 years,” he says.


Average property prices:

Epsom: £455,808
Ewell: £452,516

“Ewell has predominantly Thirties housing stock,” says Jeremy Richardson, manager of Christies estate agents. He adds that a four-bedroom semi-detached house in the area would cost about £500,000 to £700,000.
“Epsom has something for everyone, from two-bedroom Victorian cottages at £350,000 to £400,000, right up to 6,000 to 7,000sq ft houses with swimming pools. Ewell is cheaper all round, but Epsom houses go all the way up to £5 million around the Royal Automobile Club estate”, Richardson says.
Ewell does have some older housing near the centre of the village, but stock is in short supply. Muat says buyers would need to budget £300,000 to £350,000 for a two-bedroom cottage, or £600,000 to £650,000 for a four-bedroom detached Victorian house.
Both areas saw prices rises of 12.7 per cent last year, and about 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of this year.
Epsom has a triple crown of primary schools rated “outstanding” by Ofsted — Southfield Park Primary School, Nonsuch Primary School and Stamford Green Primary School.
Its main senior schools, Rosebery School and Blenheim High School, both get a “good” rating.
Ewell has a clutch of “good” primary schools, plus Wallace Fields Junior School, rated “outstanding”. For seniors, the “outstanding” Glyn School is technically in Ewell, but its catchment area includes parts of Epsom. “What parents really want is the KT17 postcode so they can get the best schools,” said Julia Dajani, owner of Elizabeth Scott estate agents.
Victory: Frankie Dettori on Golden Horn wins the Derby. Image: Rex
Both locations score well on green space. Ewell is bordered by the 250 acres of Nonsuch Park, once one of Henry VIII’s hunting grounds. Today, it has a BMX course and running tracks. A smaller, but lovely, patch of open space is the garden at Bourne Hall — where John Everett Millais is supposed to have painted Ophelia.

Epsom has its raceground and is on the fringe of Epsom Common — 436 acres dotted with ponds and wetland habitats, heathland and woodland, and meadows grazed by cattle.

Epsom has the Ashley Centre, full of chain stores that also spill out on to the High Street. There is a twice-weekly market with fruit and veg, and a monthly farmers’ market, plus regular antiques fairs at Epsom Racecourse.
Ewell’s selection of shops is smaller and useful rather than stunning, but it is still a pretty area to stroll about.

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