AN increase in purchasers moving out of London into Oxfordshire is not only increasing the number of passengers on key rail journeys back into the capital but it is also impacting on the local property market, pushing demand up which in turn is keeping prices strong.
International real estate adviser Savills has recently produced a top 20 list of areas where the total amount of housing owned by commuters is highest. In it, Reading ranks second only to Brighton with the value being £3.36 billion. Maidenhead features 13th on the list with the total value of housing stock owned by rail commuters being £1.64 bn.
Katie Baldwin, an associate director at Savills in Henley, comments: “Demand for property in key town centre locations has always been strong but, over the past 12 months, it has been significantly outstripping supply.
“The result has been two-fold. Firstly, leading to prices within the town centre market growing by as much as 5.4 per cent (depending on property type, condition and location) over the course of the past year and, secondly, leading to an over-inflated view of what properties will realistically achieve.
“The price a property is initially marketed at will be fundamental to the success and speed attached to the sale. Priced too high and it may alienate the demographic you most wish to attract and any agent valuing a property should be able to justify the figures they have arrived at, by comparing it to recently sold (not currently available) property of a similar size, type, condition and location.
“Interestingly, 91 per cent of those currently registered with us have identified that they need to be within easy access of a station — whether by definition that means Henley, Twyford, Maidenhead or Reading, can be debated.
“But it is interesting to note that in the five years immediately after the credit crunch, the increase in the number of people using the station rose by six per cent from Reading, eight per cent from Twyford, 10 per cent from Maidenhead and 26 per cent from Henley.”
This correlates with the increase in demand from those wanting to purchase in the town centre from purchasers who evidently want all the benefits a town can afford - from bars, restaurants, cinema, theatre, schools and so on to close proximity to a station.”