End of commuting line now hot property as demand by zone reverses

  • Analysis of commuter lines in London reveals  Zone 6 is seeing the biggest increase in the number of buyers, and Zone 1 the smallest, a reversal of the trend we saw a year ago:
    • Zone 6 has moved from having 9% more buyers in September 2019 compared with the previous year, to now being up by 108%
    • Zone 1 has moved from being 41% up year-on-year in 2019, to now being just 7% up
    • The further out you go by zone the greater the increase in year-on-year demand
  • Analysis along the Northern line shows the biggest jump in demand is at the end of the line:
    • High Barnet is top with the number of buyers up 166%, followed by Finchley Central, up 120%
    • Moorgate and Bank are bottom of the list, down 34% and 16% respectively

New analysis by the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove shows that homes further out on London commuter lines are seeing the biggest jump in the number of buyers looking for their next home, a complete reversal compared to this time last year.

The study looked at the change in the number of buyers sending enquiries to agents on Rightmove between September 2018 and September 2019, and the same change between September 2019 and September 2020.

The majority of zones have swapped demand rankings compared to the previous year, and as you move out by zone the jump in the number of buyers increases further:

Increase in no. of buyers


Zone 1


Zone 2


Zone 3


Zone 4


Zone 5


Zone 6

September 2019 versus September 2018 +41% +22% +21% +15% +8% +9%
September 2020 versus September 2019 +7% +42% +57% +76% +103% +108%


Average asking price October 2020


Average asking price October 2019



Annual change

1 £1,245,254 £1,356,878 -8.2%
2 £749,818 £730,639 +2.6%
3 £620,887 £593,311 +4.6%
4 £502,013 £477,091 +5.2%
5 £494,013 £474,928 +4.0%
6 £510,107 £486,586 +4.8%


The study also looked at the change in buyer demand for each station along the Bank branch of the Northern Line between July and September 2020 compared to July and September 2019, which mirrors the overall trend.

The two stations that saw the biggest increase in the number of buyers were High Barnet, up 166%, followed by a station just a few stops along, Finchley Central.  Northern locations of the northern line are performing more strongly than the southern locations, and there is a clear dip in demand along the zone 1 stations.

Rightmove’s Head of Property Data Tim Bannister comments:”Agents have been reporting a number of people selling up in the inner London zones and moving further out, but to see this reversal in the demand trend reflected so clearly in the data is quite something. Some buyers still expecting to commute into the centre in the long term may have now adjusted their mindset about how many zones they’re prepared to move out, leading to zone 6 being the new favourite. This data demonstrates the short term trend of more central places like Moorgate and Bank seeing lower demand right now – although it’s worth noting that it’s off strong demand levels for these locations a year ago. I do think this demand will come back eventually but it’s not clear yet how long it will take.”

Agent’s view

Alex Corradi, Sales Manager of Winkworth’s Finchley office, said: “We’ve seen tremendous interest from buyers living in central London, Hampstead and area, seeking to move out to a larger home with a good garden in the Finchley Central area and out to High Barnet.  These are mainly couples and young families with children looking for an extra room in the house to use as an office or space outside for a garden office, as working from home becomes increasingly prevalent.  The properties may range from Victorian and Edwardian houses to homes built in the post-war era, from £700,000 to £1.4m.  Good schools are also important to this group of buyers and this part of North London is still a convenient commute for when people do need to travel to their place of work.”



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