Every day over twelve thousand people travel through Colchester train station, according to the latest Office of Rail & Road statistics, which works out to a staggering 4.5 million journeys a year.
Although it isn’t immediately obvious it’s not always the swankiest Colchester streets or poshest villages around Colchester where properties sell and let the quickest. In many cases it’s properties with the best transport links – as highlighted by Location, Location, Location – one of the most popular property TV shows.
One of the most frequently asked questions about the Colchester property market is “What are the best areas of Colchester and surrounding villages to live in these days?”, mostly by newcomers to the area. My answer differs, taking into account who’s asking the question, taking into account the demographics of their family, their ages, schooling requirements, interests and so on. Nevertheless, one of the top requirements for both tenants and buyers is ease of access to transport links, including public transport, which includes Colchester train station.
The latest figures show, in total, 6,128 people jump on a train each and every day from Colchester train station. Of those, 4,516 are season ticket holders. That’s a lot of money being spent when a season ticket, standard class, to London currently costs £4,928 a year.
That adds up to £22.25m every year spent by Colchester commuters on train season tickets. A significant proportion of those commuters will be high flyers living in upper market properties in and around Colchester and they’re also likely to be the kind of people with money to invest in the Colchester buy to let market, which in turn provides homes for Colchester tenants.
The bottom line is that property values in Colchester would be significantly lower, by between 3% to 4%, if it wasn’t for the proximity of the railway station and the people it serves in the town. This isn’t a flash in the pan. Rail is becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and the major roads to London (A12, A120, M25 and M6) become ever more congested. The result has been a surge in demand for rail travel, despite the high ticket prices, which looks set to continue.
Over the last 20 years, since 1997, Colchester train station usage has increased from 3,109,162 people through the barriers (or connected with another train at the station) to the latest 2016 figures which had increased to 4,460,848 people using the station, which works out at 12,255 people a day.
One of the first things buy to let investors looking for properties in Colchester will check is the location of any property to Colchester train station (or other nearest local railway station) because it directly affects the value and saleability of all Colchester properties. It’s also an important factor for local home buyers and tenants who may also commute to work by train. You’ll notice Rightmove displays the distance to the railway station alongside each and every property on their website.
If you would like a free opinion on the best areas in Colchester with access to Colchester train station, or any aspect of the Colchester property market, please give me a ring on 01206 862288, email firstname.lastname@example.org or add your comments below. Send me the Rightmove or Zoopla links for any properties you’re interested in and I’ll get back to you – often within 24 hours.