14 June 2019

Londoners pay highest premium to live near a station

  • £42,900 premium in London for property 500m from nearest station, compared with a similar property 1,500m (1.5km) away

  • £12,600 premium in Greater Manchester and £5,700 premium in Glasgow and surrounding area on comparable basis

We’ve updated our research on how the proximity to either a metro or railway station impacted property prices in London, Manchester and Glasgow, after taking account of other property characteristics, such as property type, number of bedrooms and local neighbourhood type. This report is an update of the features we published in 2014 (available to view online).

Premium compared to property location graph

London homebuyers appear willing to pay a greater premium for being close to a station compared with those in Greater Manchester and Glasgow. This probably reflects the greater reliance on public transport in the capital, with residents less likely to drive.

London also has the densest network of stations and services, with 94% of properties within 1.5km of a station, compared with 72% in Glasgow (Strathclyde Partnership for Transport area) and 70% in Greater Manchester.

Londoners pay a significant premium to live near a tube or train station

Our research indicates that homebuyers in the capital continue to pay a significant premium to be close to a station. A property located 500m from a station attracts a 9.4% price premium (approximately £42,900 based on average prices in the region) over an otherwise identical property 1,500m from a station.

The illustration below shows the price premium for similar properties at various distances from a tube or railway station (relative to a property 1,500m from a station). As you might expect, the premium buyers are willing to pay increases as you move closer towards a station. A property located 1,000m from a station commands a 4.1% premium, at 750m this increases to 6.6%, while a property 500m from a station attracts a 9.4% premium.

London circle diagram

Just 6% of properties in London are more than 1,500m away from a tube or railway station, and these are predominately in outer suburban areas, where stations tend to be more spread out serving larger catchments.

Best connected boroughs

Excluding the City of London, Camden, Tower Hamlets and Kensington & Chelsea are amongst the best connected boroughs, with around 75% of properties within 500m of a station.

Havering, Bexley and Barking & Dagenham remain the least accessible boroughs, with fewer than 20% of properties within 500m of a station. Average house prices tend to be lower in these areas, but this also reflects that they are further away from central London.

Which line is associated with the highest house prices?

Greater Manchester is served by an extensive network of railway and tram lines. Recent years have seen a further expansion of the Metrolink network to Manchester Airport and the opening of the ‘Second City Crossing’. Metrolink saw a 9% increase in passenger journeys in 2017/18, the strongest growth amongst England’s light rail and tram systems*.

Our research suggests that homebuyers are willing to pay a noticeable premium to be close to either a Metrolink or railway station. A property located 500m from a station attracts a 7.8% price premium (approximately £12,600 based on average prices in the region) over an otherwise identical property 1,500m from a station.

Tube line price table

Tram & rail links in Greater Manchester attract premium amongst homebuyers

Greater Manchester is served by an extensive network of railway and tram lines. Recent years have seen a further expansion of the Metrolink network to Manchester Airport and the opening of the ‘Second City Crossing’. Metrolink saw a 9% increase in passenger journeys in 2017/18, the strongest growth amongst England’s light rail and tram systems*.

Our research suggests that homebuyers are willing to pay a noticeable premium to be close to either a Metrolink or railway station. A property located 500m from a station attracts a 7.8% price premium (approximately £12,600 based on average prices in the region) over an otherwise identical property 1,500m from a station.

Manchester circle diagram

Expansion of network has improved accessibility

In Greater Manchester, 70% of properties are now within 1,500m of a station. Since our previous research, the Metrolink network has expanded further into South Manchester, with a new line running to Manchester Airport via the suburb of Wythenshawe. We’ve also seen the opening of the Ordsall chord, linking Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly by rail.

As a result, around 80% of properties in the City of Manchester are now within 1km of a station. Elsewhere, Tameside and Trafford are amongst the best served areas, with the latter set to benefit further from the Trafford Park tram link currently under construction.

Modest premium for rail links in Glasgow

Glasgow has the largest network of suburban railway lines in the UK outside of London. The area covered by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) includes around 185 railway stations with a further 15 subway stations in Glasgow city centre. In 2016/17 there were 61 million rail passenger journeys within the SPT area and 11.4 million journeys using the Glasgow subway**.

It appears that homebuyers are willing to pay a modest premium to be close to a railway or subway station. A property located 500m from a station attracts a 3.8% price premium (approximately £5,700 based on average prices in the region) over an otherwise identical property 1,500m from a station.

Glasgow circle diagram

In the SPT area, 72% of properties are within 1.5km of a station. The districts best served by the network include Glasgow City, Inverclyde and West Dunbartonshire, where over 80% of properties are within 1.5km of a station. Both the latter contain many of Glasgow’s commuter towns and villages and are well connected by the main railway lines skirting the River Clyde. Glasgow city proper is extremely well served by public transport, with around 60% of properties within 500m of a subway or railway station.

*Department for Transport, Light rail & tram statistics 2017-18 (This link will open in a new window)
**Scottish Transport Statistics (This link will open in a new window) 

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About the author

Robert Gardner

Robert Gardner is Nationwide’s Chief Economist, leading a team which provides economic analysis and advice, focused on developments in the UK economy, with particular emphasis on the housing market and house prices.

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