It might surprise you that it isn’t always the swankiest Rotherham streets or the posh villages in the Rotherham area where properties sell and let the quickest. Quite often, it’s the ones that have the best transport links.
As an agent in Rotherham, I am frequently confronted with queries about our property market. Often people (chiefly by newcomers to the area) ask, “What is the best part of Rotherham area to live in these days?” The answer is obviously different for each person – a lot depends on a variety of different factors (the demographics of their family, their age, schooling requirements and interests etc.) Nonetheless, one of the principal necessities for most tenants and buyers is ease of access to transport links, including public transport – of which the railways are very important.
Official figures recently released state that a total of 947 people jump on a train each and every day from Rotherham Central. Of those, 416 are season ticket holders. That’s a lot of money being spent. For example, consider a standard class season ticket to Leeds is £2452 a year. This means up to £1m and possibly more is being spent on rail season tickets each year in our town.
If that much is being spent, those commuters must have some impressive jobs and incomes to allow them to afford that season ticket in the first place.
That means demand for middle to upper market properties remains strong in Rotherham and the surrounding area. In turn, these are the type of people whom are happy to invest in the Rotherham buy-to-let market – providing homes for the tenants in our town.
The bottom line is that property values in Rotherham would be much lower, by at least 3% to 4%, if it wasn’t for the proximity of the railway station and the people it serves in the town
And this isn’t a flash in the pan. Rail is becoming increasingly important as the costs associated with car travel continue to rise and roads are becoming more and more congested. This has resulted in a huge surge in rail travel.
Overall usage of the station at Rotherham has increased over the last 20 years.
In 1997, a total of 356,901 people went through the barriers or connected with another train at the station in that 12-month period. However, in 2016, that figure had risen to 689,540 people using the station.
The juxtaposition of the property and the train station has an important effect on the value and saleability of a Rotherham property.
It is also significant for tenants – so if you are a Rotherham buy to let investor looking for a property – the distance to and from the railway station can be extremely significant.
One of the first things house buyers and tenants do when surfing the web for somewhere to live is find out the proximity of a property to the train station. That is why Rightmove displays the distance to the railway station alongside each and every property on their website.