From this weekend London’s long-awaited 24-hour Tube service starts running on the Central and Victoria lines, with the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Northern lines to follow in the autumn.
It will be a boon to shift workers and partygoers, who will enjoy faster-than-usual travel from the suburbs to the city centre — and it will be a selling point for homes close to the stations that will benefit.
Top stops in Zone 2
The strongest-performing Zone 2 Night Tube location over the past two years has been Oval on the Northern line, according to research by Savills. Prices have grown by 53 per cent to an average £637,297.
Tom Floyd, sales manager of Winkworth, says Oval’s popularity has grown as buyers have been priced out of Kennington. “It has also probably got a better mixture of properties for first-time buyers, with lots of Victorian houses which have been converted into flats,” he adds.
A two-bedroom Victorian conversion flat would cost about £550,000 but for better value, former local authority flats are priced at about £450,000. Whole houses start from about £1 million for a three-bedroom period property.
If Oval is beyond your budget then another Zone 2 hotspot over the last two years is North Acton on the Central line. Prices have risen by almost 49 per cent, to a significantly more affordable average of £333,463.
North Acton is a far more affordable sort of place. It also has Victorian homes, but more modestly sized than at Oval, and there are also plenty of Thirties houses.
As well as late-night trains North Acton will soon benefit from the opening of the Elizabeth line — Crossrail. It is only half a mile from the stop at Acton Main Line, which will give fast, direct train links to the West End and the City.
Local amenities include Wormwood Scrubs park and a reasonable selection of restaurants, pubs, and shops, but for something a little more exciting,
Ladbroke Grove and Chiswick are both approximately three miles away, and are probably the nearest places for interesting shops and bars.
East is best in Zone 3
East London rules in Zone 3, where Leyton on the Central line has seen an impressive 63 per cent price growth in the last two years, according to Savills. Average prices now stand at £420,695.
Leyton’s great-value Victorian terraces have earned it London’s latest “next big thing” title, and the area is being smartened up rapidly. Green space is plentiful, with the Lea Valley and Hackney Marshes to the west, and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park nearby.
And there are some good schools which are attracting young families. Newport Primary is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
There is also no need to travel for a night out when you could have a craft beer at the Red Lion, dinner at the newly opened Leyton Star, or catch some live music at the Leyton Technical.
“Years ago Leyton was bottom of the market,” admits Tony Strover, director of Allen Davies & Co estate agents. “Now it is mid-market and all the better for it.” When Stratford won the bid for the 2012 Olympics, investors began eyeing the area, and owneroccupiers priced out of places such as Hackney and Islington followed.
“We already had a Tube line and some lovely Victorian housing stock,” says Strover. “The only thing we didn’t really have were all the bars and cafés, and that is changing with the new buyers.”
Made up mostly of couples with or without small children, buyers pay in the region of £600,000 for a three-bedroom Victorian house in Leyton, or between £425,000 and £450,000 for a flat.
Another Zone 3 outpost of east London, West Ham has seen growth almost as impressive as that experienced in Leyton, with prices up just over 60 per cent to an average of £296,756. West Ham’s rougharound- the-edges reputation hasn’t quelled buyers’ interest in the area, and the relocation of West Ham FC to the Olympic Stadium could be a regeneration trigger.
Housebuilders Barratt Homes and Galliard Homes have plans to convert the club’s old Upton Park ground into a residential village with shops.
Spill over in Zone 4
Arnos Grove on the Piccadilly line has enjoyed 52.6 per cent price growth in the last two years, says Savills, as buyers spill out of more expensive north London locations. Its average price is now £483,624.
This is one of those classic Thirties suburbs that developed as the Tube network began to spread north of the capital, transforming an area whichuntil then was largely open fields. It isn’t edgy. Though it is just the wrong side of the North Circular road, it is safe, with plenty of parks, andBroomfield School, for seniors, is rated “good” by Ofsted.
“We get people coming in from Crouch End and Finsbury Park who are finding that for the price of their two-bedroom garden flat they can pretty much buy a house,” says Anthony Lucas, a partner at Ellis & Co estate agents.
Despite an influx of young professional families, who pay up to £750,000 for a three-bedroom semi or from £850,000 for a fourbedroom house, Arnos Grove has no trendy café culture. “There are small independent businesses, and far too many 24-hour shops, but a really good café would transform the area.”
In second place in Zone 4 is Fairlop, another unknown, on the Central line, where prices have risen just over 51 per cent in two years, to an average £421,550.
Right on the cusp of London and Essex, its main selling point is Fairlop Waters country park, with a network of lakes for fishing and watersports.
You can play golf, learn to sail, and all in all pretend you are living in the country while still having an easy-ish commute into town.
Adding to the family appeal, Fairlop Primary School is rated “good with outstanding features” by Ofsted.