Crossrail’s permanent track installation is now complete, and the London infrastructure project is edging nearer to the 2019 completion date. Crossrail is an exciting addition to London’s rail network. Once operating, the new Elizabeth line with state-of-the-art trains will transport a whopping 200 million people across London each year.
So how will this impressive infrastructure project affect the future of the London property market? Crossrail has already made its mark on London property prices, which have inflated according to route proximity, and even more so for property within a mile of the Crossrail stations. Property experts, developers, and homeowners are watching and waiting to see how the fully operational line will further affect the price of property across London and the South East.
An update on the Crossrail project
The £14.8 billion Crossrail project is currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project, and according to recent updates will be delivered on time and within budget. The project has involved upgrading 30 stations and the building of 10 new ones.
The new railway, known as the Elizabeth line, which will take the colour purple on the London Underground map, is due to be launched in December 2018, when the central part of the track through London will start operating. The full route is expected to be fully operational by 2019, with trains running along the whole length of track from Reading and Heathrow in the West across to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the East.
One of the future first-class 345 Elizabeth line trains was introduced into Tfl passenger services in June and will continue operating during off-peak services. The train is now part of the Tfl fleet running between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Over the next 18 months, more of the new trains will be introduced into service, progressively replacing the existing fleet. The impressive trains (at full length) consist of nine carriages, and are 200 metres long, offering enough space for 1,500 people.
A catalyst for regeneration
Crossrail’s new stations, and the upgrading of existing stations, have been a catalyst for regeneration along the Crossrail route. Twelve major property development opportunities have been integrated into the construction, and many others have been established along the line as a result.
The mere anticipation of regeneration as a result of Crossrail has driven house prices up along its route since the project’s inception back in 2009.
PropertyNews.com reports on the effect Crossrail is having on London’s developers. “It is an opportunity that landlords in the vicinity, as well as developers, won’t pass up. And with such a clear investment case, a healthy pipeline is materialising - in the West End alone some 2.5million sq ft is coming on stream.”
According to a research report published by Hamptons International, Linking Housing Markets; The effect of Crossrail on housing markets in London, Crossrail has been a major stimulus for new build development. One in five new build homes sold in London since 2009 were within a mile of a Crossrail station.
Crossrail and property prices
A report in the Telegraph earlier this year reported that property prices within a mile of any Crossrail stop have risen by as much as 66 per cent since 2009. Those who took the decision to buy ahead of the project appear to have made a shrewd move, with their property prices rising at least 15 per cent more than averages across the rest of London.
Since the rail project started in 2009, homes within a mile of a Crossrail station have seen prices rise 15 per cent more than the areas it passes through. According to the same Telegraph report, experts are expecting another surge in property prices along the route when the first leg of the 62-mile stretch of line opens.
David Fell, analyst at Hamptons International, says, “There are always those home-buyers who have to wait to see an infrastructure or regeneration project come to fruition before committing, therefore driving up prices again.” So another price hike is expected once the line is fully operational.
If you live close to the Crossrail route, it could be worth getting your property valued by a reputable London property surveyor, such as Daily Move. As the Crossrail development draws to a close, you could find your property is worth more than you think.
Sellers stalling, but for how long?
A recent property market insight report produced by Hamptons International is seeing a trend with property sellers who are set to profit from the Crossrail railway link. Many sellers are waiting until the line is fully operational before putting their homes on the market.
As we get nearer to the unveiling of Crossrail, property pundits are viewing the markets along the route with interest. Only once the railway is fully operational will the full effect of the purple line on property prices become completely clear.
We do know that first-time buyers have dominated in snapping up property in proximity to the Crossrail route. This year 40 per cent of properties were bought by first time buyers, 33 per cent by other owner-occupiers, and 27 per cent by landlords. First time buyers will be biding their time and hoping to make a healthy profit in their quest to move up the property ladder.