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A rail booster for house prices
HOMEOWNERS near a train station are sitting on a goldmine, with their houses worth tens of thousands more than ones farther away.
Prices in towns or villages with a rail link are 12 per cent higher than those without, research from online estate agent eMoov.co.uk shows.
With average prices at £260,000 in Oxfordshire, that translates into about £30,000.
Claire Moloney of Summertown-based estate agents Pink & Black puts it even higher at 10-15 per cent.
She says houses in Abingdon, which has no station, have an average price of £285 per square foot, compared with £319 for similar ones in the nearby village of Radley, which has a station.
Other areas benefiting from a price-hike thanks to having a railway station include Islip, Charlbury and Goring.But it does not apply to big towns such as Didcot and Bicester, which have large numbers of newly built estate housing, as many househunters prefer to live just outside.
Ms Moloney said: “A lot of people commute to London, so want to be within easy reach of a station.
“Villages around Didcot, such as Long Wittenham, South Moreton, the Brightwells and anywhere within a 15-minute drive are at a premium, as is any village near Bicester.
“Sellers know being near a station adds value to their home and buyers often don’t want to be more than half an hour from a station.”
The price gap is expected to widen as rail travel becomes more popular, fuelled by a number of schemes across the county, including the £130m upgrade at Bicester.
This will see a line between London Marylebone, Bicester town and Water Eaton park and ride, known as Oxford Parkway, open next summer and an Oxford/London Marylebone link added the following year.
But Hugh Jaeger, from rail-user campaign group Railfuture, warned: “Before they buy, people need to bear in mind that different stations have very different levels of service.
“This varies from Charlbury or Hanborough which have virtually an hourly service, to somewhere like Finstock, where there are just two trains a day.”
Mum-of-four Christine Boyd, 67, has lived in Radley for 15 years and said: “Where we live, we can be at the station in less than five minutes and the line goes to many places, including Oxford, Reading, Basingstoke and London.
“The station is a real boon for everybody here.”
Plans for Oxford Parkway at Water Eaton have boosted values in Kidlington, just north of the station. Agents said average prices had risen 15 per cent but were tipped to go much higher when the project is completed.
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