Can cycling change the way people look for properties in London?

Bikes in hallway

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When looking for somewhere new to live, whether you are renting or buying, one of the main factors that will affect your choice of property are the facilities available for your preferred mode of transport. If you are a car owner, parking spaces will be an important factor, if you use public transport, a short distance to a rail station or bus stop is preferable. And of course if you’re a cyclist, then the availability of bike storage might be an influencing factor.

According to the latest figures by TfL, between 2011-2012 levels of cycling in London increased by 9% and these levels are expected to keep increasing at a rate of 5% yearly. For many London commuters, cycling to work now makes much more financial sense, especially as the turn of the New Year saw London bus and tube fares increase by 4.2 per cent. If you travel from Zones 1-4, you will have to fork out an extra £93.60 a year as your weekly travel card will now cost you £43.60. Ouch! Therefore, more London commuters are starting to swap their oyster card for a bike helmet.

As this trend develops it is possible that the facilities that potential tenants and home owners are enquiring about may change. High end bikes, for example, are only covered by insurers if they are locked up safely. The growing number of cyclists may prompt a growing interest for properties with facilities for bike storage, because as the use of bikes in London increases so does the volume of bike theft.

Many new residential buildings are now being built with outdoor sheds and purpose built blocks for allocated bike parking. These facilities are not so readily available for buildings older than 5 years which means that it is specifically new builds that may experience higher levels of interest among cyclists.

Here at Stirling Ackroyd we are adapting and embracing the flexibility offered by using bikes in London. As an agency we have started to use the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme extensively around our central London offices with most of our managers opting to cycle to valuations and viewings.

So whilst there’s no revolution yet, it is possible that the growing use of bicycles may slowly start evolving the way some buyers and tenants view the facilities that London’s properties have to offer.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

8 Responses to Can cycling change the way people look for properties in London?

  1. Alex BB 17/01/2013 at 11:10 am #

    I think is is huge consideration. Having somewhere easy to park the bike can provide a marked improvement in your quality of life.

    My wife and I have always got around London by bike. When we rented, we took a place that had a brick shed at ground level, to throw the bikes in.

    Last year we bought a flat and renovated it without a owning car. The whole way through the renovation we knew we wanted two bike parking bays somewhere in the flat. I think the odd thing is that it is economically rational to buy a place that needs work and also to cycle. So over the next decade we may find more flats that have just been done, seem to a have little nook that is just perfect for two bikes.

  2. Tony Durham 17/01/2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Bike parking: it’s what garages are for.

    • Gavin 18/01/2013 at 10:20 am #

      True, my car now sits outside, while my bike resides in the garage.

  3. Joe Chin 17/01/2013 at 9:24 pm #

    Kudos to Stirling Ackroyd for embracing bicycles for mobility! But I have to admit I give Boris Bike riders a wide berth when encountering them on my commute :)

    As a regular bike commuter from zone 3 to 1 and a family with 3 bike riding kids, the availability of convenient and secure bike storage will certainly be a significant consideration when we look for our next home (hopefully in zone 2-3).

  4. Property Blogger 18/01/2013 at 11:58 am #

    I’ve always considered cycling an effective way of getting round London but was always put it off because of safety fears. The rising cost of travel cards (I travel 1-4) is making me seriously consider cycling as an option.

  5. Jon 18/01/2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Lords estate agents in Kingston, Surbiton and Tolworth use pedelec GoCycles and have been for some years.

  6. James Neilson 21/01/2013 at 11:22 am #

    I bought 6 (Currell Company) bikes which we branded and have been used regularly by the teams for the last 3 years. I am also pleased about the comments we get about the whole subject. We have been mentioning bike facilities within details for the flats and houses we sell and rent around Islington, Clerkenwell, Hackney and Victoria Park. Almost all modern purpose built blocks have a bike facility at ground floor levels. The Classic London property do not tend to lend themselves well for easy bike storage though, communal hallways are often narrow.
    The biggest issue with cycling to work from your home is changing facilities at the work place and safe store for bikes in the work place or setting. I’ve seen some ingenious and some dangerous storage contraptions within peoples homes to ‘make space’ for their trusted wheels, but often hear that lack of a shower or similar is a factor that stops people.

  7. anton cross 15/02/2013 at 5:57 pm #

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