Why Trains Are Key to Your Buy-To-Let Choice


As one of the best York letting agents, we know there’s a lot to think about when finding a buy-to-let property. Where you buy is as important as what you buy; a key part of that is a property’s connection to the outside world.


Why are rail links important?

As a landlord, you have to consider a property from a tenant’s point of view. Good transport links make a rental property attractive for a variety of different reasons.

The biggest benefit of strong rail links is commuting. In 2016, over half of all rail journeys involved people travelling for work and education. If you can’t guarantee a rail link between your home and a tenant’s workplace this could dramatically shrink your pool of potential tenants.

Rail links could help to offset issues with your property, such as limited parking space. Having a nearby rail connection could be a massive advantage if your tenant is without a vehicle, or unable to drive altogether. A lot of young professionals fall into this category, for instance.

Of course your tenants won’t be solely work-oriented; they’ll want to use the railway for leisure purposes too. If your property is in a city with robust rail links (like York!) this makes potential trips around the country much easier, and your property a more attractive prospect.


How do railways affect property prices?

Rail connections being close to residential areas, has a dramatic impact on property prices. Barclays have published an infographic on railways and the British housing market, which showed a rise in house prices in the Midlands. It also claimed transport was the most important amenity during property searches, and a third of people moving in 2015 did so to be closer to transport links.

mallard train with york background

Elsewhere Letting Focus recommends buying property near rail routes, especially if major infrastructure improvements are on the way. New rail links (or other amenities like manufacturing plants) frequently make houses in the surrounding area more desirable. However, it’s often best to wait until any development projects have started before making a purchase. If there’s a chance the project could be cancelled, this could leave you in a sticky situation later on.

We could also see house prices boosted in the future if defunct railway lines are reopened. An article in the Telegraph said that if the1960s railway lines got a second chance this could have a positive impact on house prices, particularly in more rural areas.

All this means that now could be a good time to invest in buy-to-let properties. It also means you are more likely to make a profit on the property if you decide to sell it in future. If you can expect major infrastructure work or construction projects in your area, begin your property search now to beat the rush.


What are railways like in the York area?

At the moment, York has strong rail links to several major cities. Direct rail connections allow you to reach London, Edinburgh and Manchester in approximately two hours. You can take advantage of direct services from Birmingham and the South West, and connections to Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds/Bradford airport are within easy reach.

The future of York rail

There are several exciting rail projects connected directly and indirectly to York, which will have a positive impact on the area’s overall transport connectivity.

The Northern Powerhouse Rail

York is also in close proximity to some exciting rail developments. Earlier this year Transport for the North proposed a new line connecting Bradford to Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. This new line promises to enable 1.3 million people to travel between these four cities within an hour (or even less than that). This is great news for York, too, as Leeds and York already have a good rail connection. With this new line, people from York will benefit from the faster journey to Bradford, Liverpool and Manchester.

map of train lines near York

Great North Rail Project

In addition, the Great North Rail Project is looking to upgrade the current line between Manchester Victoria and York / Selby. The proposal by the TRU (Transpenine Route Upgrade) includes faster, longer, more frequent and more reliable services. That’s more good news for the city of York.

HS2

Meanwhile, the proposed HS2 route will reportedly shorten journey times between York and other major cities. York residents can expect to reach London in an hour and 23 minutes, while a trip to Birmingham could take just over an hour on the new line.

York Central Access

A new access bridge is also in development for the York Central rail station. The project includes adding a road to the rear of the station, a compliant access to the left side of the station and remodeling the front of the station.


What makes York a good buy-to-let location?

Outside of its good transport connections, York has plenty to offer visitors and residents alike. It’s a hotbed of culture and history with museums, galleries and festivals just waiting to be discovered. But the city is also an excellent place to find work or pursue higher education. People in higher education can benefit from living and learning in York. Last year the University of York reported that 83% of its graduates were in further study or employment one year after leaving. Furthermore, the total number of students at that university has risen steadily since 2009, which suggests there’s an ongoing demand for rental properties in the York area.

flying scotsman near York

Unemployment in the York area has been falling over the last few years. In 2016, York Press reported a 16% fall in people claiming unemployment benefits in the City of York Council area. Among people aged 18 to 24 the reduction was 27%, suggesting the city is a great place for young professionals.

The area is also seeing rapid business development at the moment. Earlier this year Aldi completed work on a new supermarket on the city’s outskirts, while IT company Software Box is expanding its operations at Green Park Business Centre. Other businesses like Premier Inn and Le Cochon Aveugle are also expanding, proving that York is still a popular destination.


What is the current state of UK railways?

According to Network Rail, 1.7 billion people travel by train each year – that’s about 4.5 million journeys each day. The Department for Transport also reports that in recent years, the number of rail trips (and overall distance covered and time spent) has grown, while road journeys have decreased. Rail passenger satisfaction remains high, with 83% of passengers satisfied in spring 2017.

flying scotsman in north moor route

The UK’s rail regulator has called on Network Rail to spend an extra £1 billion on rail infrastructure. Elsewhere, the Campaign for Better Transport has a list of rail lines they’re campaigning to re-open. Their list of twelve priority lines includes restoring eleven miles of track between Skipton and Colne, connecting the East and West Coast lines in the process. While for York, there’s also the campaign to re-engage the line York – Pocklington – Market Weighton – Beverley – Hull.


With several exciting rail developments on the horizon, now could be the perfect time to find a buy-to-let property in York.

If you’re in the York area, Quantum are the perfect York letting agents for the job!


We have over ten years of experience in the York property market. This allows us to offer a full suite of services for landlords:

–   We can collect the rent from tenants every month, provide a monthly breakdown of costs and chase late payments.

–   We’ll visit your property regularly to discuss maintenance issues and discuss any repairs needed with you.

–   We can handle post-tenancy negotiations if your property isn’t left in good condition.

–   Our team is fully trained on the procedures of serving notices, assessing and viewing properties.

–   We ensure there are no hidden costs as we never charge landlords any commission on top of fees.


Give us a call today on 01904 631631, or click here to learn more about our managed service.

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