New HS2 depot in Leeds set to bring more jobs and investment to city

How will HS2 impact property investment in the north and Midlands?

Recently, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the HS2 rail scheme will go all the way to Leeds. How will this impact property investment?

The UK’s heavily anticipated high-speed rail line, HS2, is under construction, but there have been a series of delays and budget changes. Fears of mounting costs prompted speculation over the full project going ahead.

Construction is currently underway on the first phase of the rail project from London to Birmingham. Phase 2a will run from Birmingham to Crewe. Then, phase 2b will go from Crewe to Manchester and from Birmingham to Leeds.

There were worries that the eastern leg of phase 2b would be scrapped after the government-commissioned review last year. However, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the full rail project will go ahead.

The benefits of HS2 was originally thought to be brought forward by 2040 or 2050. The transport secretary stated: “We think we could bring that forward quite dramatically by building it in a smarter way.”

What will happen with Northern Powerhouse Rail?

The HS2 is improving connections and decreasing travel times to London. There are still questions about the Northern Powerhouse Rail project, which would connect the six big cities in the north of England, including Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Leeds and Hull.

The transport secretary said: “We are going to complete HS2 and include HS2 on the eastern leg to Leeds.

“And the only question that we have is how to better integrate that with plans which were developed a very long way since HS2 was first dreamt up all those decades ago and that pertains to the Northern Powerhouse Rail.”

Last year, a blueprint was set to be published about the Integrated Rail Plan for the north and Midlands. But there have been delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is expected to be out soon.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, commented: “The Transport Secretary and minister for the Northern Powerhouse is doing exactly the right thing in promising to deliver the eastern leg right the way to Leeds, and we now need Government to publicly commit to this in the integrated rail plan as soon as possible.”

“It’s critical to ensuring levelling up is a reality not just rhetoric.”

What property investors should know

Ultimately, any major transport improvements in an area are likely to boost its appeal. As a result, this can push up house prices as well. Many areas have even already started to feel effects from the promise of the railway line.

Birmingham is the first location that will benefit from the HS2 line. The project will create new jobs in the area. Additionally, a number of major firms have already started to open offices in the city ahead of the rail project.

With this promise of improved accessibility, house prices will likely rise as more people choose to live and work there, making it an attractive area for property investment. For both homebuyers and property investors, the sooner you invest in the city, the more likely you are to see capital appreciation as the HS2 scheme progresses.

Once the second phase is complete, cities like Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham will come into its remit. This will further slash rail travel times to London. Even more peripheral towns will likely reap the benefits of HS2 as well with the plans also including improvements to existing lines.

It’s worth keeping an eye on areas that are within easy travel distance of the new high speed line to find areas that could see strong house price growth.

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