Photo credit: MeltingMan
London's new train line was launched this weekend. The £75m extension to the London Overground, which connects Clapham Junction and Highbury & Islington, opened its doors to passengers for the first time yesterday, making it easier and cheaper for commuters to access the city and putting South-East London's property firmly on the map.
The first new complete railway loop in the capital since 1884, the London orbital has been dubbed the "M25 of rail" by Mayor Boris Johnson, but is likely to receive a far warmer response from local homeowners. The final stage of a £1.5 billion investment to improve the London Overground, the new link includes stations at Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, Denmark Hill, Clapham High Street and Wandsworth Road.
The orbital now runs through 20 of London's 33 boroughs, while its Zone 2 location allows commuters to travel into the city without incurring higher fares. This increases the accessibility of London offices for residents on the loop, but also boosts the profile of property in Peckham and the surrounding areas.
"This fantastic new orbital railway will provide Londoners with the ability to zip around the edge of the city quickly and easily, without the need to travel in and out of the centre," said Boris Johnson on Sunday.
"The extension will also help serve those rapidly regenerating parts of East London where the job market is expanding and will support further growth. It's a real blueprint for rail services of the future and a brilliant addition to our transport network."
SE London contains some of the capital's more affordable postcodes, according to Home & Property magazine. But as estate agents cherry pick property along the new rail route, that is starting to change.
"Rents are rising, particularly in areas that were once less popular," estate agent Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward told the magazine. "Phase one of the East London line upgrade to Forest Hill and Croydon caused big property ripples, with an influx of Canary Wharf workers. The transport pluses of this final phase will be attractive to homebuyers curious about south-east London."
Indeed, rental rates in Surrey Quays have already jumped by 13 per cent in the last year, according to the agent, "more than anyway else in London".
With 12.3 million passengers expected to use the service every year, that figure may keep on rising, helped by the high profile residents of Peckham, including Peep Show and Tyrannosaur star Olivia Colman, and other improvements to the town.
Speaking exclusively to TheMoveChannel.com, Assistant Editor for whathouse.co.uk, Laurna Robertson, commented of the development: "With the south east and the south west being linked for the first time, places that were previously difficult to commute from, and considered an unsound investment, will be much more attractive. The new stops along the line will do wonders for the relevant areas and give a massive boost in property potential. Peckham is sure to reap the rewards and it'll be interesting to see which developers invest in the area. We currently have Marine Wharf in the Surrey Quay by Berkeley listed, which will be ideal for commuters using this line."
Mike Stubb, director of London Overground told the BBC: "The mayor called it the M25 of rail, but we think we are better than that because we keep moving."
House hunters looking towards Peckham may well agree.
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