Q I would like some advice. How much will HS2 affect property prices in the Midlands and the north? Will they become expensive like the south-east? Also, why are property prices in the south-east so high compared with the Midlands and the north and will this change in the future?
A The short answer to all your questions is: I don’t know. What I do know is that when somewhere stands to benefit from a large-scale improvement in transport links – especially to London – property prices tend to go up. For example, when the original London to Oxford bit of the M40 was extended from Oxford to Birmingham back in 1991, my home town of Warwick saw – if not a though-the-roof increase in property prices – then at least a bit of a surge. By being less than 10 minutes from the motorway, the town had become an easy commute to Birmingham and, at a push, a reasonable weekly commute to London. A decade or so later, property prices saw a further positive blip when Chiltern Railways reopened Warwick station which provided access to its cheap train services from Birmingham Snowshill to London Marylebone. It’s doubtful, however, whether the coming of HS2 will see a further surge in property prices, largely because Warwick won’t have close access to HS2 services.
However – and if the Crossrail experience is anything to go by – properties within a 10- to 15-minute walk away from an HS2 station will see house prices go up by 30% to 60% more than the prices of property “not in an area of immediate impact” as that is described by Brett Alegre-Wood of property investment company Gladfish. So Birmingham residents whose property is handy for the new Curzon Street station or the new interchange station near the city’s airport should see prices go up once HS2 is fully up and running. On the downside, properties very close to the HS2 route could well see the price of their property fall while the line (and stations) are being built. People with properties actually on the HS2 route – or within a certain distance from it – should be able to claim compensation (by going to www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2).