The massive project will transform London and reduce journey times for commuters; we look at how it will affect the property market and how to take advantage.
Crossrail is a 73 mile railway line under development in London and South East England. The central section between Paddington in central London and Abbey Wood in South East London is set to open in December 2018; it will be named the Elizabeth Line. The western section from Paddington in West London, to Reading in Berkshire and Heathrow Airport will be completed a year later.
Crossrail construction in 2011
According to Crossrail and kamaco UK Research, Crossrail will increase London’s rail capacity by 10% and bring an extra 1.5m people within 45 minutes journey time of central London. It will link key districts such as Heathrow, the West End, the City and Docklands. Commuters will see big improvements: for example the journey from Woolwich in South East London to Central London will fall to 19 minutes from 40 minutes.
The property payday
Travel time to central locations is one of the key drivers of value for London property. For certain areas, Crossrail will make a massive difference, increasing demand for homes. Where development has already occurred, such as at the Royal Arsenal scheme in Woolwich, new build schemes have achieved a significant premium to existing stock.
The smart advice
So far, the areas immediately surrounding Crossrail stations have not consistently outperformed the wider borough since construction started on the Crossrail line. This is likely to change as the line gets closer to opening. Outer locations offer the greatest value uplift potential but over a longer timescale as more people move to those areas. Some areas have planning permission for more new homes than others, which could reduce the potential for price rises.
The key districts
The benefits of Crossrail won’t be shared equally. For example, Central London is already well connected so the new line will have less impact. Areas expected to see sharp prices rises include Woolwich, West Drayton, Whitechapel, Slough, Abbey Wood and Ealing Broadway, all of which will see a reduction in journey time to Central London of at least 19 minutes.