Leading online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, believes today’s decision to award the third runway expansion to Heathrow could create London’s first affordable pocket for housing, but not in a way that aspiring London homeowners may want.

The required demolition of some 783 homes to build the third runway will not only wipe out the communities of Longford and Harmondsworth, but it could also have serious impacts on the housing markets across Hillingdon, Hounslow, Windsor and Maidenhead and as far west as Merton and a large part of prime central London.

In the last ten years property prices in Hillingdon, home of Heathrow Airport, have increased by 77%, but eMoov founder and CEO, Russell Quirk, believes this decision could lead to a reduction of at least 20% across the parts of London and the surrounding areas due to suffer the worst impact, a loss of more than £80,000 for Hillingdon homeowners in particular.

Prices in Hounslow have also increased by 70% in the last decade but today’s decision could see the average house price of £407,666 reduce by as much as £82,000.

Further west Windsor and Maidenhead could also be severely affected by flight paths for a third runway at Heathrow. Although prices have risen at a marginally lower rate in the last decade (68%), the higher price of property means a 20% decrease would see homeowners in the area almost £100,000 out of pocket.

Even areas such as Richmond, Westminster and Hammersmith and Fulham could see a depreciation in property value due to noise and air pollution. In the last month alone, homeowners in Westminster saw prices fall by more than £65,000, so this could be the final nail in the coffin.

No one in their right mind could find a property desirable if that property sees jumbo jets hurtling past at all hours of the day and night, rattling secondary double glazing and leaving the faint aroma of jet fuel lingering in the air.

Homeowners have been screaming out for an affordable part of the capital and the decision to place a third runway at Heathrow may have inadvertently provided that, but not as they would have wished.

Although the expansion will mean great things for London and the economy, it could see house prices in those areas worst affected by the noise and air pollution plummet by as much as 20% as a result. We aren’t talking a month or two of minor road works, this is a seriously large project with ongoing, permanent implications for those impacted by it.

A fall in value of 20% is a very realistic expectation given the negative impact noise and air pollution can have to a property’s desirability and we could see the average house price in the likes of Hounslow and Hillingdon sink to around £320,000.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

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