The £371 million tunnel that will divert traffic away from the notorious Devil’s Punchbowl bottleneck at Hindhead on the A3 London to Portsmouth road is set to cause a house-prices spike, as journey times are slashed to commuter towns from this summer.
Prices could rise by five per cent in the towns most likely to benefit, including in Hindhead itself, and at Grayshott, Headley, Liphook, Petersfield, Hambledon, Hawkley, Froxfield and East and West Meon.
George Clarendon, of Knight Frank in Winchester, says the tunnel has already boosted buyer interest in commuter towns in Hampshire and in West Sussex. “Those who previously concentrated their search north of Hindhead are now looking further south and prices have been rising steadily. We expect to see people looking to move further south, particularly sailing enthusiasts, and those who simply want the best of both worlds - countryside and sea.”
Nigel Mitchell, based at Knight Frank’s Guildford office, agreed that London commuters had historically been unwilling to live beyond Hindhead. “With the tunnel opening, areas such as Grayshott, Headley and surrounding villages will be ideal locations. Those with a variety of country properties and excellent schools, such as Edgeborough in Frensham, Highfield in Liphook, and Amesbury and St Edmund’s in Hindhead.”
Mitchell says the impact of the tunnel is already being felt in local prices, bridging the gap between West Sussex and its smarter neighbour, Surrey.
“Hindhead continues to attract competitive interest, Haslemere has become a mini Guildford and we anticipate that Petersfield will become the next Haslemere in the coming years,” he said.