Sometimes, on my darker days, I wonder whether London's tube map obsession has gone too far. Is there no idea, no concept, no message too inappropriate, that coverage-hungry marketing teams won't try to hammer into a tube map format in their ceaseless search for viral clicks?
Anyway, the fact I'm writing this at all is proof that it clearly works, so let's get on with it.
The latest effort comes from online estate agents eMoov, and, in what is presumably an attempt to show that they know some stuff about houses or some such, it lists the average property prices in the vicinity of each tube station. Here it is:
There are a number of ways in which this is a bit rubbish actually. For one thing it uses live price data taken from property website Zoopla. So what we're looking at here is asking prices, rather than actual sales prices: the two are sometimes quite different.
For another, eMoov doesn't tell us how far from a station a property could be and still count as near it. In central London, a search radius of half a mile would bring up properties that are equally close to several stations; in suburbia, though, it would exclude homes that are in easy walking distance of the tube. There's no good rule of thumb that’ll work in the entire network.
The big problem with the map, though, is that it makes no effort to control for the types of property that are on sale. Studio apartments, terraced houses, six bedroom mansions – eMoov has bundled them all together and worked out the average price.
The result is that areas where most properties are small flats end up looking cheaper than those where most properties are large houses. On a like for like basis, though – comparing the price of a two-bed flat in each – they might not be.
Oh, and eMoov also couldn't be bothered to do those bits of London that aren't covered by the tube. They even cut out the Overground and the DLR. It's just laziness, isn't it? Is laziness really the best quality in an estate agent?
Also they call it an interactive tube map and that’s just a bloody lie.
Anyway, with all those caveats at out of the way, what does the map tell us?
The most expensive homes are at Piccadilly Circus...
Really? Bit noisy.
...or in Kensington
Houses in the City are cheap for zone 1, but still really expensive
Hardly anyone lives there, and those who do live in flats. Which probably explains the figures.
The most expensive suburb on the tube is Richmond
To be fair, it is nice.
The cheapest homes on the tube are out east
Specifically, in Barking and Dagenham.
You can't live at Heathrow
If you want to see the whole thing, it’s here.