Crossrail continues to boost London property prices as service fast approaches
Almost a decade in construction, London's new Crossrail Elizabeth Line will formally open this December. Improving transport times and access in the UK capital, Crossrail is also boosting residential property values across the city, with some station neighborhoods seeing double-digit price growth.
Around 200 million people are expected to use the new high-capacity rail route every year, which will reduce the average travel time in London by 15 minutes and bring an extra 1.5 million people within 45 minutes of the city center. Surrounding cities such as Luton, Reading and Slough have seen some of the fastest house price growth in the UK in recent years as commuting becomes more convenient, while suburban and inner city districts along the Crossrail route have been among the fastest growing in London.
While much of this potential price growth has already taken place in anticipation of Crossrail, ongoing infrastructure investment will continue to drive up values in Crossrail districts in the coming years. Global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) forecasts residential price growth 7 to 16 percent above the Greater London average in Crossrail areas between 2016 and 2020, while rent increases are expected to begin in earnest once the service becomes operational.
Where to invest around Crossrail stations
Not all Crossrail districts are equally appealing to domestic and overseas property investors. Those that started from a low base are enjoying the most significant growth as they become part of London's expanding core, while extensive regeneration is improving infrastructure and amenities in some formerly overlooked districts. Some of the best investment prospects are:
Soon to become just one stop away from Central London via its new Crossrail Interchange station, Acton in West London is also benefiting from a £600 million regeneration that will create a new urban village with 2,700 homes and amenities. JLL expects rent prices to rise by a third (33 percent) by 2020.
Already one of London's most prestigious addresses, the new Elizabeth Line station will make luxury shopping favorite Bond Street even more appealing for residents. While established Central London areas aren't seeing the same rapid growth as outlying districts, Bond Street's timeless appeal makes it a low-risk option for investors looking for wealth preservation.
One of London's greatest residential success stories, the transformation of former docklands into one of the capital's premier financial hubs has seen prices rise exponentially since 2008. The impending arrival of Crossrail and fast connections to Heathrow Airport is continuing this momentum. Canary Wharf's population is expected to double in the next ten years and JLL predicts double-digit price growth.
One of London's best-connected districts will get a further boost with the opening of the Elizabeth Line at Paddington Station. Offering considerably lower prices than neighboring districts such as Mayfair and Knightsbridge, a £1 billion regeneration program is enhancing Paddington's residential appeal and increasing demand from buyers and renters.
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