It’s been the talk of the town since 2008, and there have been many questions and debates regarding Crossrail.
Ranging from environmental factors to noise and disturbance, there has certainly been a buzz over this project over the past decade. The first journey will soon be made, and the question on everyone’s lips is “how will it affect house prices, and where?” It’s a valid question, especially for those on the commuter belt, and one that we intend to answer here. Here’s your guide to everything Crossrail.
What is Crossrail and Where is it Running?
Originally, it was supposed to launch last summer (2018), but the new date for the first journey is August 2019. Its London’s newly improved train line, helping commuters get from A to B in record times so that you don’t have to spend so much time on public transport each day. It’s a 73-mile express service that runs from Reading, as well as from Shenfield and Abbey Wood; a real east and west set of lines.
Phase one of the Crossrail line will connect Abbey Road to the Elizabeth Line, as well as Liverpool Street, Paddington, and Heathrow. Currently, Liverpool Street to Abbey Wood is a journey that takes a good 45 minutes, and when Crossrail launches, it will be a mere 17. Getting to Heathrow will also be cut from 90 minutes to 50.
Following this, the Crossrail lines will continue to open and expand as they move west towards Reading. The openings won’t be instant, but they will be fantastic for those who suffer long commutes each day when they are made available. It’s set to be an exciting step forward and, considering the billions of pounds put towards it; we hope it will be worth the wait.
What Will Happen to House Prices?
So what about the house prices?
Well, it’s reckoned that they are going to increase, making current homeowners quite a tidy profit if they decide to sell. Being close to the new Crossrail line is likely to be seen as very beneficial for professionals that need to use it in order to get to work. In fact, since the announcement of the new line in 2008, house prices have been steadily increasing as we near the opening date.
However, when the Crossrail was delayed last year, house prices in some of the key station locations started to drop. Across Farringdon, Liverpool Street, and West Ealing, house prices have dropped by a steady 4% to 14% since the announcement. However, once the Crossrail launches in August, we should see these prices starting to increase again due to high demand from professionals.
House Prices Near the First Stations
Abbey Wood has seen an incredible rise in house prices since 2011. It has grown at twice the London average, and the numbers are unbelievable at 146%. This is fantastic news for those currently living or owning in the area who are thinking about selling. Woolwich, nearby to Abbey Wood, has also seen some good increases in recent years, and value has increased by 85%.
If you are going to sell, the best time to do so is now because the government has found that overall London house prices have started to drop by 1%. This isn’t a massive number, but with the economic unpredictability of the future, it is best to hit the iron while it is hot rather than wait and see. Predicting house prices is a difficult job, and none of us can truly ever know which way the market will turn. The way we see it, sell while it’s good and don’t wait for it to turn bad.
The only issue with selling homes that are in close proximity to the new stations is that there are some negatives to the location. Those living there will have to deal with commuter traffic to the trains, increased noise levels, and general disturbance throughout the week.
There are some that won’t mind this and others that will, so you need to really think about the ways you can sell the positives to them so that they aren’t thinking about the negatives so much. One of the big pluses is that Abbey Wood still remains one of the most affordable places to live in London, despite the massive increase, which should attract plenty of buyers.
The Impact on Slough and Reading
These two areas are already very well connected to London, and the train times are not horrific. However, having them connected directly to the Elizabeth Line will be terrific for reducing journey times and making the commute easier for those who need to get to work. The best part? You can get to central London without changing trains. That’s right, a little more time to sleep in the morning and the relaxation of only needing to take one train.
The new line means that Reading to Liverpool Street will only take one hour on one train. It’s amazing, and something London workers have been waiting for eagerly. Therefore, it is no wonder the house prices in Slough and Reading are booming right now. Everyone is getting ready for those short travel times, and they want to live as close to the action as possible.
In Slough, the prices have risen by a staggering 60% in the runup to the new Crossrail, and Reading has seen a respectable rise of 33%. If you are living in these areas and have been thinking of selling, now is the perfect time to get your home on the market and benefit from it. Slough might not have the greatest reputation right now, but you can expect a serious revamp if you decide to move into the area now. It’s only a matter of time.
The Impact on Kent
There is a proposed Lower Thames Crossing for this region, and it looks like it could be a great addition to the rail system. The design plans to avoid the Dartford Crossing, known for its heavy congestion and difficult morning commutes, creating a better-connected system that makes commute times shorter, as well as more manageable.
The wonderful thing about Kent is that you can have all this while still maintaining a countryside life. It’s surrounded by wildlife and green fields so that when you are back from the city, you can actually get away from it. Many of the Crossrail stations do not have this nearby. When the Kent Crossrail is finally linked up and opened, house prices are likely to skyrocket, so get in there quick while the prices are low.
Generally speaking, Crossrail is looking really good for the housing market. It is located in all the key commuter areas, which is a bonus for businessmen and women that are looking for a faster route to work. There have been some drops around the key station areas because of delays, but this is something that will rectify itself as soon as the rail starts running officially.
So, if you are living in the Crossrail area and looking to sell, now might just be the best time to get your home on the market.