The Northern line’s night service starts on Friday 18 November and is expected to create big property ripples along its route as young Londoners wanting to enjoy a late-night lifestyle seek out homes in good-value areas close to a Tube station.
The Friday and Saturday all-night service will start on its route via Embankment. Already, Morden at the southern end of the line, is experiencing record buyer demand, more than four times the level of some central and north London areas. Archway and High Barnet, also on the Northern line, are similarly becoming buying hotspots.
Arriving in 2018 will be the Northern line extension from Kennington to Battersea Power Station, while a further extension is planned to Clapham Junction, allowing quick connections to Gatwick.
More than half a million people use the Tube after 10pm now, and an additional 200,000 a day are expected to use night services when they are fully rolled out across the network, says Transport for London. The night Tube is becoming a lifeline for many Londoners who work weekends — everyone from theatreland staff to hospitality industry and NHS workers.
New links to overlooked property hotspots
The Northern line is special and super-busy because it is the only route that runs deep into south London as well as north London, and carries commuters through the capital’s main employment areas — the West End and City and the fast-growing business districts of Shoreditch and King’s Cross — plus fashionable nightlife neighbourhoods such as Clapham, Camden and Old Street.
As property values vary widely along the route, the 24-hour service will throw cheaper areas into the spotlight and create new property hotspots. A location near a station is even more important at night, especially to women.
Places near or at end the of the line, no longer cut off between midnight and 6am at weekends, could get the biggest boost. “Undoubtedly the night Tube will increase the allure of homes in outer travel Zones,” says Andrew Palmer, director at property consultant Cushman & Wakefield. The firm predicts homes in these so-called “non-prime” areas will see the biggest price gains over the next five years. Such districts may also cease to be cultural blackspots as the local café, bar and music venue scene improves on the back of the night Tube. “Already there’s a pattern of buyers leapfrogging Zones 1 and 2 to find good-value areas with upside.”
Placemaking along the line
Zone 4 addresses are about 30 per cent cheaper than Zone 3 areas — £504,989 against £722,673 — according to research by Hamptons International, which reports a “spillover” trend, with more people hunting for less expensive properties a couple of Tube stops further down the line.
Colindale, in Zone 4 and one of the cheapest locations, is a good example. On the north-west fringe of the capital, the area comprises playing fields, country parks and leafy avenues lined with tidy interwar semis that are popular with middle-class families whose breadwinner commutes to the City or West End.
Recently designated a housing growth zone by the Mayor, Colindale is becoming a place for young singles and couples priced out of the centre.
Colindale Gardens is a new 2,900-home neighbourhood spanning 47 acres. Part of a wider regeneration area that includes an upgrade to the Tube station, the £1 billion project is being built on the site of a former training college and will take 12 years to complete. More than 6,000 people will live in new apartment blocks and houses overlooking parks and sports pitches. There will also be an on-site primary school, along with shops and community facilities. Prices start from £370,000. Call Redrow on 020 3811 3734.
Nearby Beaufort Park is set in 25 acres and has 2,800 homes plus a pub, café, convenience store, nursery, spa and gym. Two-bedroom flats cost from £525,000. Call St George on 020 8511 8600 for more.
Totteridge and Whetstone on the Barnet branch of the Northern line are prosperous family suburbs. Northway House in Whetstone town centre brings something fresh and affordable, with 145 flats priced from £575,000. Call 020 3538 3719.
GET IN THE ZONE
Balham, Tooting, Kennington
The Northern line runs through five travel Zones. Areas north of the river tend to be more expensive than those south of it, but the “value gap” is narrowing fast, due to the rise of districts such as Borough, where average prices have jumped nearly 200 per cent during the past decade.
Balham and Tooting have also seen big property price rises and along with Clapham, homes in these “mid-range” areas are now comparable in price to those in Kentish Town and Tufnell Park, north of the river.
Parts of Tooting are still affordable for couples trading up to a family house. St George’s Gate is a scheme of two-bedroom and four-bedroom townhouses, each with an open-plan ground-floor kitchen and living area plus a garden and highly coveted off-street parking. Prices from £650,000. Call 0333 577 5878.
Kennington seems to be stuck in time while dramatic change takes place next door at Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle. And this is part of its allure.
The area has been gentrifying for decades without reaching the heights of fashionability, but the Northern line extension from Kennington to the shiny new Nine Elms district could catapult its status among home buyers.
A station facelift is planned, while tunnel work has temporarily swallowed a corner of refurbished Kennington Park, now boasting a pretty flower garden, formerly a scruffy patch of land, leading to St Agnes Place. This scheme of 58 Georgian-style homes includes townhouses, and prices start from £1,375,000. Call 0333 0033 660.
Highbury to Hampstead and Angel to Camden
The main patch in the north — spreading from Highbury to Hampstead and from Angel to Camden and Primrose Hill — continues to attract bankers, lawyers and middle-class literati who find it not only more convenient than south London but also buzzier and more sophisticated, with better amenities and facilities. In recent times, they have been joined by a young creative crowd, most choosing to settle in the City-fringe district between Old Street and King’s Cross.
Archway, Kentish Town
Lower-priced Archway, in Zone 2, stands out as good value. Vantage Point, a former social security office tower that sits above the Tube station has been turned into a block of 100 flats for rent. Call Essential Living on 020 7340 0300.
And check out Kentish Town, which is attracting a new generation of arty Londoners. A former furniture factory is now The Maple Building — 50 loft-style apartments, including penthouses with roof terraces, priced from £560,000. Call 020 3811 1304.
Hampstead Manor is that area’s biggest housing scheme for more than two decades, a sensitive redevelopment of a listed Victorian college into 156 homes spread across 13 buildings. The site includes a chapel and Kidderpore Hall, a listed mansion that’s for sale as a shell for transformation into a single residence, priced £16 million. Grand apartments in new and converted red-brick blocks start at £755,000 and rise to over £3 million. Call 020 3582 5461.