Crossrail is Europe’s largest construction project and the biggest infrastructure scheme to be undertaken in London for over 20 years. It will without doubt rejuvenate travel around the capital, throughout greater London and beyond into the Home Counties. Crossrail offers direct connections to previously unconnected routes improving journey times and significantly easing congestion.
By 2018, 40 Crossrail stations will exist over 21 London boroughs. The highly anticipated transport scheme will finally join up London’s Docklands, City and West End to Heathrow Airport, Berkshire and Essex running over 100km and incorporating 10 new stations at Abbey Wood, Bond Street, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, Whitechapel and Woolwich.
Transport links and infrastructure expansions have historically played a key part in property price performance, especially in the London property market. The extension of London Underground’s Jubilee Line in the late 1990s was the largest addition to London’s transport network in more than 25 years and was thought to have generated a land value of about £9 billion.
Crossrail’s high speed service is expected to bring an additional 1.5 million people to within a 45-minute commute of central London, in turn creating new, desirable residential addresses and naturally impacting the prices of properties along the route.
Today’s impact on the residential property market
The effect of the £15.7 billion Crossrail project can already be seen despite the fact that full service will not run until 2019. According to Knight Frank, there has been notable property price movement, above and beyond London’s average growth, around many of the newly proposed stations.
The fastest growth has been recorded around Central Crossrail stations with 82% uplift in property prices within a 10-minute radius of Bond Street Station and a 61% uplift within the same radius of Tottenham Court Road station since July 2008.
While property price growth has not been as strong along the Eastern Crossrail stretch, positive increases are still to be seen, especially within a 15-minute walk of Maryland and Forest Gate stations with 37% and 35% respective uplift in prices since 2008.
Uplifts around the Western Crossrail stations are slightly more difficult to measure due to other dominant contributing factors in certain areas, however Knight Frank believe that residential property prices within a 15-minute walk of the Crossrail stations sites outperformed the wider market by 6% between July 2008 and October 2014.
Regeneration and long term projections
Crossrail is more than a just new rail link; it will be the catalyst for regeneration in key locations and a driver of London’s economic growth, in particular from a property perspective.
Two key transport hubs which have already experienced strong price growth are Tottenham Court Road and Farringdon, which also happen to be stations under-going major regeneration initiatives. Tottenham Court Road is undergoing a £1 billion redevelopment, incorporating 500,000 sq. ft. of premium retail, office and residential premises, a new theatre and upgraded public spaces. Meanwhile, Farringdon will offer a completely new station and is set to become one of Britain’s busiest train stations, being the only hub to connect with three of London’s airports.
It is believed that Crossrail areas under-going significant regeneration will benefit from the greatest long-term growth. JLL have combined base forecast with regeneration impact and Crossrail influence to measure house price growth performance between 2014 and 2020 and have forecast the biggest winners as Whitechapel (54% uplift), Woolwich (52% uplift), West Drayton (51% uplift) and Ealing Broadway (50% uplift).
Property investment opportunities
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 34%
Crossrail will cut journey times from Bond Street and the West End to many destinations most notably Heathrow Airport where the journey time of 49 minutes will be reduced to 29 minutes. London Underground is working alongside Crossrail to upgrade Bond Street’s existing tube station to deliver a new ticket hall, step-free access and a new station entrance which will enable passenger numbers to grow from 155,000 to over 220,000 daily when Crossrail arrives. Consequently, it is no surprise to see numerous luxury residential properties under development all of which are working with the very best of London interior designers.
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 44%
Canary Wharf will be one of the largest Crossrail stations, designed to include a 256 metre long station box linking Canary Wharf and Poplar, along with a proposed retail park.
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 50%
Ealing Broadway is already well connected by its underground station which is served by the Central and District Lines. Upon the arrival of Crossrail in 2019, however, speed of travel from the station will improve remarkably, with a journey time to Bond Street being reduced from 25 minutes to just 10 minutes. Crossrail has planned substantial re-design of the station which will be coupled by a wider development project to improve the area around the station.
Hayes & Harlington
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 41%
When Crossrail arrives at Hayes & Harlington station in 2019 it will offer connections from this west London district to brand new areas of central and eastern London which were previously unreachable by direct connections. Commuters can expect to be at Bond Street within 20 minutes, Liverpool Street within 27 minutes and Canary Wharf within 35 minutes - cutting the journey time by nearly half an hour.
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 44%
The City of London incorporating Liverpool Street has long been viewed as just a business district with little purpose or requirement for residential property. In recent years, however, demand for City of London property has boomed and developers have responded by converting former office buildings into residential dwellings. Since land for redevelopment is sparse, it has not been possible to meet full residential needs in the City itself, which is why the City Fringe area of Shoreditch, within a 10-minute walk of Liverpool Street Crossrail, has become increasingly more attractive for developers.
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 45%
Stratford is already regarded as one of London’s best connected locations offering underground, overground, DLR and National Rail connections. While Crossrail will only save commuters five minutes journey time into the West End, it will for the first time provide direct links into Heathrow Airport from this major station.
Once an area associated with high crime rates and run down architecture, over £9 billion of public money has already been pumped into E15 and the new E20 postcode prior to the 2012 Olympic Games, providing Stratford with an improved infrastructure and 500 acres of recreational space to include the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Westfield shopping centre. Crossrail is sure to only enhance Stratford’s fast-improving status as a well facilitated and well-connected place to live. In fact, the London Borough of Newham which incorporates Stratford and various other future Crossrail sites was the highest performing London borough for property price growth last year according to the Land Registry House Price Index (March 2015).
Tottenham Court Road
JLL price growth forecast (2014 – 2020) = 42%
The GVA has identified Tottenham Court Road as one of the four Central Crossrail stations with the greatest potential to become a key property investment location. This is due to significant re-development within the area, most certainly influenced by Crossrail.
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