Before August, many Londoners enjoying late-nights over the weekend suffered from something we call the ‘Cinderella complex’ – cutting short celebrations to dash to a Tube station before the last train.
Shift workers also felt the pain when planning journeys to and from their workplace after midnight, having to take convoluted journeys instead of direct routes.
Transport for London and the Mayor have, however, finally delivered what Londoners have been asking for, with the launch of the Night Tube. This 24-hour transport service operates every Friday and Saturday, with the Central and the Victoria lines being the first to run the new service. The Jubilee line is next, with a launch date of the 7th October, with the Northern and Piccadilly lines receiving the round-the-clock service this autumn.
Transport gurus have recognised that London is a 24-hour city, with an economy that runs night and day. In fact, Transport for London claims the Night Tube will play a vital role in opening up London’s night-time economy, “supporting almost 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m”.
Wider analysis puts this figure higher, with the Centre for Economic and Business Research together with London First saying the Night Tube could add £3bn to London’s night-time economy and create 1.37m jobs.
Property experts have been quick to make the link between rental prices and stops along the Night Tube. The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) found one in four of its members in London and the South East expected rent rises around stations benefiting from the twilight service.
While rental values in Central London will always be at a premium, the Night Tube is expected to accelerate asking rents in outlying London neighbourhoods that are benefitting from better transport links. Experts claim rents near Night Tube stations in Zones 3-6 have already risen by up to 20% during the last two years, outstripping the average rate of growth across London by 7%. The advice is to negotiate now to lock in to longer tenancies at a fixed price, creating a buffer between current values and soaring predictions.
London suburbs flagged up with potentially rising rents due to better connectivity include Northfields, North Greenwich, Canning Town, Redbridge, Morden, Neasden, Barnet, Epping and Walthamstow. The catchment for rental properties has got wider, giving more options, whether you’re relocating workers whose office hours are out of the norm or you place clients who frequently entertain in the evening, the Night Tube is a real boost. With the night service running out to zones 5 and 6, the locations where relocators settle clients has expanded considerably, opening up outer lying areas that are often greener and more family-friendly. Although rents in zones 5 and 6 of the transport network have tended to be cheaper than Central London, Klippa Relocation is closely monitoring values as the Night Tube takes effect in our quest to deliver optimum properties within budget for our clients.
What hasn’t been well publicised is Transport for London’s exciting plans to roll out the night service to the rest of the Tube network and beyond. Other Tube lines will benefit from the night service as soon as the Underground modernisation programme is complete, with the London Overground in contention for around-the-clock service in 2017, possibly extending to the DLR by 2021. These improvements will have a dramatic effect on connectivity in the capital and therefore rents. When complete, these changes will re-landscape London’s rental map forever.