Europe’s largest infrastructure project, work on the Crossrail, or the recently renamed Elizabeth line, began in 2012 and is due for completion in 2019, with the programme currently 70% complete. Its aim is to create a better travelling experience for everyone when they journey across or through London, with the service able to carry more passengers to more destinations in a shorter period of time. By the time the service is running, it is believed that an additional 1.5 million people will be within a 45 minute commute of London.
Described as ‘a railway for the 21st century’ on crossrail.co.uk, the line will connect 30 existing stations between Reading, Shenfield and Abbey Wood, while 10 new stations will be built to accommodate the new line and trains, which will be much longer than existing underground trains so they are able to carry more passengers more comfortably; 200 metres long with a capacity of 1,500 people. To date, according to Crossrail themselves, 7 million tonnes of material has been excavated during construction, of which 98% has been beneficially reused elsewhere.
As well as benefitting from faster, wider and comfortable travel around London, it appears that homeowners in the areas around the new line could see the value of their properties increased in the coming years. According to an article from March 2016 by Ruth Bloomfield on homesandproperty.co.uk, asking prices for homes along the new line have increased by a third in 12 months. Bloomfield also states that a report by property consultant CBRE has predicted that “average prices around Elizabeth line stations will increase 3.3 per cent per year above the local house price growth until the line launches in 2018/19.”
The Eastern Section: Canary Wharf to Abbey Wood branch
Back in early 2015, property correspondent for the telegraph.co.uk, Anna White, was already predicting the areas that would benefit most from the Crossrail, using an infographic from property company JLL. This showed that Woolwich ranked in second in terms of total price growth between the end-2014 and end-2020, at 52%.
Abbey Wood’s journey time to Central London will decrease by around 30 minutes, and Bloomfield reports that the area has already benefited from the Elizabeth line as asking prices have risen by nearly 35% over the past year
She also reports that Jennet Siebrits (Head of Residential Research at CBRE) is predicting annual growth of 5.8% per year for the area. Siebrits also expects nearby Woolwich, Custom House and Canary Wharf to see “a more modest growth of between four and five per cent.”
Meanwhile, Grainne Gilmore, Head of UK Residential Research at Knight Frank, points out that Woolwich could be particularly lucrative, as there are currently 163 new homes being built within walking distance of the new station, and there is planning permission for 2,700 more. “Such place-making will likely create price uplifts and deliver value, as this area of London becomes a more highly connected place in which to live,” she says.
The Western Section: Reading to West Drayton
Meanwhile, Bloomfield stated that according to Rightmove, “asking prices in Taplow are up by almost 32 per cent in the last year,” and that the CBRE believe that that Taplow, Maidenhead and Burnham will “all enjoy Lizzie line price increases of between three and four per cent between now and 2019.”
The Inner Western Section: Hayes and Harlington to Whitechapel
White said that Whitechapel would see “the biggest jump in value for any London village on the Crossrail route”, with JLL predicting a 54% increase in house prices for owners over the next five years, while Ealing Broadway would see a 50% uplift, and West Ealing prices would go up by 48%.
Bloomfield reported that Hanwell has seen a 21.6 per cent increase in house prices over the past year, and that Siebrits is predicting that Hanwell and Acton Main Line will see prices rising between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent.
The Eastern Section: Stratford to Shenfield
Ilford seems to be a popular choice, with Bloomfield reporting that both Jonathan Stephens (Managing Director of Surrenden Invest) and Susan Emmett (Director of Residential Research at Savills) believe the area will grow.
Emmett also tips Manor Park, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath, stating: “All these locations are in boroughs where we expect house prices to grow by 17 per cent over the next five years, outperforming the London average of 15 per cent.”
Although we’ve still got a few more years until the line becomes functional and travellers can enjoy the faster and more comfortable service that the Crossrail promises, it seems the Elizabeth line is already bringing about benefits in terms of property. For those who already own homes along the new route, the increasing value of their homes can be nothing but positive, and the predicted uplift in property values mean that anyone looking for an investment could benefit too.
This article was produced by Katie Bamford from trucklocator.co.uk, specialists in used trucks and all else truck related.