The uncertainty surrounding the future of phase 1 (London to Birmingham) HS2 finally came to an end in January. Catherine McAllister of Stacks in Buckinghamshire believes that the decision brought much needed certainty, if for some, despair.

People lived with the threat of HS2 since March ’10, and for those with an urgent need to move, either to or from, the areas affected, HS2 represented the blight of the worst kind. Confidence is crucial in the property sector, and January’s statement, at last, allows buyers and sellers to make informed decisions. There will undoubtedly be properties blighted by the effect of HS2; but we will now be dealing with a known quantity. Buyers will be able to make a judgement in terms of lifestyle vs. value.

George Barkes of Stacks in the North Cotswolds says, “Prices of properties away from the proposed route will hold up or even increase, especially those west of the M40 but still in striking distance of a mainline station on the Chiltern line. But there will be bargains to be had on the route itself. Buyers who are prepared to live with the impact of HS2 will get a great deal more for their money.”

Stacks advice for those wanting to move to the area includes:

Equip yourself with all the information you can, have a good look at all the websites, and inspect the maps in detail. Become an expert.

Look at each property on its own merits and take a view according to your own circumstances.

Don’t just look at the distance between the proposed route and the house in question – look at the lie of the land as well. Things can look much bleaker on a map than they do in reality, for instance if a hill lies between the property and the route.

What does living near a high speed rail link really mean? A trip to Kent to establish the reality may be a sensible plan.

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