Perhaps London’s most unloved corner - where flats can still be bought for £150,000 - is about to feel the heat of regeneration thanks to an £11.6 million project to reopen a railway station shut for more than 30 years.
Waltham Forest Council and Network Rail have agreed to fund the reopening of Lea Bridge Station, on the Lea Valley Line, a move which, according to the council’s Shifa Mustafa will “promote widespread regeneration in a large area of deprivation”.
The new station will provide services to the Stratford transport hub taking only five minutes. At present the council estimates that the same journey, by bus, takes up to 45 minutes, thanks to traffic congestion.
Given Stratford’s fantastic rail links to central London in under ten minutes this will make the area a great option for buyers on a budget who work in the West End or the City. It is hoped that work will start in January, with services launching in December 2015.
Lea Bridge Station, which is on the Lea Bridge Road at its junction with Argall Way and Orient Way, was closed in 1985 when the train line serving it was rerouted. From December it will run two trains an hour, and it will cater for up to 352,000 passengers each day. The new station will be a great fillip to the area east of the Leyton Marshes, which is without an on-the-doorstep rail service into central London.
The area is at present extremely affordable, with family sized Victorian houses selling at around £450,000 to £500,000, and two-bedroom converted flats at about £300,000. Investors can pick up two-bedroom flats above shops from £150,000.
Gentrification has not yet reached Leyton but its stock of period homes, new transport opportunities, educational opportunities (Barclay Primary, St Joseph’s Catholic Junior School, Lammas School and Norlington School for Boys are all rated “good” by Ofsted), not to mention the ripple effect from neighbouring Clapton are all good signs.
The clearest example of the impact a new rail link can have on local house prices is Crossrail. A recent study by Knight Frank found that homes within a ten minute walk of its central London stops had increased in value by 30 per cent since 2008, eight per cent more than the increase across central London as a whole.