The snow triggers record demand for London crash pads

Thousands of fed-up commuters stampede to buy homes in central London
London commuters waiting for a train in the snow
© Jeremy Selwyn
Stuck: rent or buy, a London pied-à-terre has commuter appeal
The big freeze triggered record demand for London crash pads, bringing a welcome New Year boost to the capital’s property market.

“We’ve been inundated,” says Sandy Chatterjee of Canary Wharf estate agent Franklyn James. “Stranded commuters fed up with it all want to rent immediately, while they look to buy.

London employees have the longest average commute - 43 minutes - in Europe, says the RAC. A study by the Mayor’s office reveals that more than 770,000 people (about 23 per cent of London’s workforce) commute into the capital daily. Ten per cent of commuters travel for more than two hours a day.

Property built in the buy-to-let boom and aimed at busy professionals is for sale in the credit crunch, often priced 20 per cent down on three years ago.

“People are splitting their funds between a city flat and a house in the suburbs or the country,” says Andrew Palmer of property consultants DTZ. “It’s not just the snow: congested trains, rising fares, delays and cancellations have all taken their toll.”

Studio apartments in travel zone one cost from about £250,000. Rents start at £200 a week. Estate agency Young London offers new apartments to rent at The Landmark, only 500 metres from the Canary Wharf trading rooms. Prices are from £300 a week. Call 020 7593 3300, or visit www.younglondon.co.uk. This new website www.london.gov.uk/rents shows average rents by London area.

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