Guide type: Property Investor
3rd March 2017
Photo Credit: Crossrail Map
The Crossrail project is chugging along full steam ahead, with the first trains expected to run from Liverpool Street in the City of London to the route’s eastern terminus, Shenfield in Essex, from May 2017; with the entire line anticipated to be fully operational by December 2019.
London’s transport system is already considered one of the most sophisticated in the world, but the introduction of Crossrail marks the start of a new era for both the capital and the surrounding Home Counties, slashing journey times and minimising commuter traffic. According to CBRE it won’t just be commuters who will enjoy the perks of the purple line, as areas which are expected to have a 10% reduction in journey times will see their house prices rise by as much as 6%.
The East of England has seen prices rise by an average of 11% to £332,000 in the year leading up to April 2016, whilst the South East also demonstrated impressive growth with an average increase of 9.5% to £408,000. Areas sitting at the very end either side of the route are doing particularly well; for instance Romford, Brentwood and Shenfield, which sit within the eastern section, as well as Hayes & Harlington, Slough and Reading at the very western end of the line. Last year, property experts dubbed Slough the ‘Crossrail winner’, as property prices were found to have risen as high as 60% in the area since 2010. However, there’s still a way to go and plenty more hotspots to crown as we approach the opening of the ‘Lizzie line’.
Whilst capital growth is certainly good news for investors and existing homeowners living in pockets along the line, many of those looking to get their foot on or move up the property ladder in these areas are finding that they are now being priced out, forcing them to look further afield. Some locations even beyond the confines of a Crossrail station are seeing the effects on property prices trickle into their areas, such as Chelmsford in Essex and Hounslow in West London. For some, if it means adding an extra 10-15 minutes onto their commute to reach a Crossrail station - but in doing so it shaves a few thousand pounds off property prices - it is a small sacrifice to make.
According to Property Week, more than 2,000 new-builds are expected to be completed within one mile of Canary Wharf, which will account for around a quarter of all new developments built along the Crossrail route. Surrey Quays – home to an extensive shopping and leisure centre, and within close reach of the vastly regenerating Canada Water – is a fantastic choice for those looking to bag a home on the peripheries of a leading business hub and future Crossrail destination.
Marine Wharf East – now available off-plan with Help to Buy – is just a 10 minute walk from Surrey Quays Overground station or 20 minutes’ walk from Canada Water, which is just one stop on the Jubilee line from Canary Wharf station. The development will sit just a one minute walk from the River Thames Path Walk, making this the ideal choice for a commuter looking for a tranquil, waterside hub away from the buzz of its imposing neighbour. Residents will enjoy access to two landscaped, communal gardens, with a private balcony or terrace featured to virtually all of the one, two and three bedroom apartments.
Another elite development available within close reach of Canary Wharf is Galliard’s Platinum Collection development, Wapping Riverside. With an exclusive range of 37 apartments – all enjoying panoramic views of the River Thames – these properties will appeal to the luxury city dweller looking for a riverside ambience with convenience to match. The development sits directly adjacent to Wapping Overground station, which is just two stops from Canada Water for a direct link to Canary Wharf; amounting to an average journey time of 11 minutes to the Crossrail hub.
Situated in the heart of Hounslow’s town centre, Trinity Square is a superb choice for those looking to live within an array of excellent transport facilities, as well as a Crossrail station. The development will be less than three miles from Heathrow Airport, whilst three underground stations and the town’s mainline station will all be accessible in under a 20 minute walk. Crossrail at Hayes & Harlington will be around 20 minutes’ drive away.
Set to comprise an impressive selection of starter homes including studios and one bedroom apartments within a striking office conversion (now with Help to Buy), these properties will suit an avid first-time buyer looking for a West London home.
Essex has been found to be one of the number one hotspots for commuters travelling into London for work, with areas such as Chelmsford, Braintree and Maldon catching the eye of aspiring homeowners, even though they sit a little further out. Homeowners are being drawn in by the relatively low prices – although they are on the rise – which would save commuters a significant amount, even after taking into consideration the cost of an annual season ticket.
Rosebery House in Chelmsford promises to be a fantastic investment, sitting a convenient 10 minute walk from the mainline station for a swift 12 minute ride to Shenfield station, where commuters will be able to catch the Lizzie line for a direct journey into the West End. The development will contain a choice of one and two bedroom apartments, all expertly designed for modern living and set to include a complimentary furniture package, courtesy of Galliard Homes.