They’ve been digging up London for as long as anybody can remember, and the idea of Crossrail as an east/west railway dates back to the 19th century. But now, after multiple delays and endless budget increases, the Elizabeth Line is finally open, boasting a journey time of just 17 minutes from Paddington to Canary Wharf, 14 minutes from Woolwich to Liverpool Street and 57 minutes from Reading to Paddington. The route is set to shake up property prices in areas near stations, and promises to put a host of previously obscure places on the map.
A study published by Rightmove shows that the Elizabeth Line’s effect on property values is already significant. According to their data, homes near Maryland Station in Newham have seen the biggest jump in average asking prices, more than doubling from £233,480 to £486,235 compared to ten years ago (the London average increase over the period is 55%). Meanwhile Twyford, at the end of the western section of the line, has seen a threefold increase in the number of buyers contacting estate agents as compared to ten years ago.
And it seems that the full picture hasn’t emerged yet. James Hathaway of Winkworth in Reading says: “Although the cost of the Elizabeth Line has gone well over budget and taken a lot longer to arrive than expected, we are beginning to see the benefits that it will bring. However, the true benefit won’t be felt here in Reading for another year when the lines fully open and we are able to get on a single train at Reading (which will be the first station so the chances of getting a seat should be guaranteed) and get off in central London (without changing at Paddington).”
But the new line is already attracting Londoners to the area: “When looking at prices here in Reading you still get a lot more value for money compared to London; we have already started to see interest from people living in London who have a long uncomfortable commute to the office via the underground and can see the benefit of an already well-connected town.”
Rightmove’s data shows that while total buyer demand has risen the most in western areas, prices and competition have risen most in eastern areas. Properties near Abbey Wood station, at the end of the South East section of the line, face the stiffest competition from other buyers. Steve Brown of Winkworth in Blackheath says: “Many of my valuations in and around the Crossrail line had been holding off listing until the Elizabeth line was open. There is huge demand at the moment, particularly for family houses around the £400,000-£600,000 range, which is the average price of a house in and around Woolwich and SE18. Since the turn of the year we are around 5-6% up on prices for houses and 1-2% on flats. Supply levels do seem to be increasing which is encouraging and have certainly seen an uplift in valuation over the past few weeks.”
The long-awaited Elizabeth Line is clearly having an effect already – and we’re likely to see a scramble for homes on its route in the next few months.
Homes near stations