House prices in prime parts of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire are set to soar when new superfast trains from London are launched next year.
Chiltern Railways says a £250 million upgrade of its Marylebone to Birmingham line will result in journey times being slashed by about 20 per cent.
Lucian Cook, a director of Savills, predicts the new timetables could prompt a spike in prices. He says house prices on average rise by £1,300 for every minute knocked off a commute. But sought-after detached homes rise by £2,250 for every minute saved.
From next May a journey from Leamington Spa (Warwickshire) to Marylebone, now 85 minutes, will be cut to a more commuter friendly 67 minutes.
Journeys from Banbury (Oxfordshire) — now 67 minutes — will fall to 53 minutes, while a trip from Bicester (Oxfordshire) will fall from 56 to 45 minutes.
The commute from Haddenham (Buckinghamshire) will be cut from 44 minutes to 35, while a journey from High Wycombe (Buckinghamshire) will fall from 34 minutes to 25 minutes — a saving of around 90 minutes travel time a week, or about 70 hours in the average working year.
“This means that, in theory, the value of the average house in High Wycombe could be boosted by £11,700, and in Leamington Spa by £23,400,” said Mr Cook. “Prices for a detached house in the two locations could rise by just over £20,000 and £40,000 respectively.”
The change will open up new areas to house hunters looking to move away from the capital. They range from the fairly downbeat town of Bicester, best known for its designer outlet village, to Haddenham, considered one of the prettiest villages in the Home Counties.