A new analysis of the British lettings market shows that two-thirds of privately rented property in the UK is within one mile of a railway or underground station.
Younger residents of city and town centres where stations tend to be found are 40 per cent less likely to own a car and more than twice as likely to live in rented accommodation than the average working person according to Countrywide.
The time to let a property, rather than its achieved rent, is the stronger indicator of the desirability attached to properties close to rail stations, Countrywide says.
A home within a mile, or 15 minutes’ walk, of a rail station takes an average of 39 days to let, six days quicker than a home more than a mile away. However, the uplift in achievable rent is marginal. An increase in the average time to let a property that is more than a mile from a rail station is a reflection of the furthest distance a tenant is prepared to walk.
In London, where levels of car ownership are lowest, homes in the least accessible locations take the longest time to let. Countrywide says this is equivalent to an additional £225 in lost rent due to the additional time to find a tenant every time a property becomes vacant.
However, rental properties directly next to rail stations are not the fastest to let - probably because of noise and possibly lack of privacy. It takes an average of two extra days to let a property next to a rail station in comparison to an identical home half a mile away.
This year some 60 per cent of new housing built in the UK was within a mile of a rail station, says Countrywide.