Ealing: Crossrail breathes new life into London's 'Queen of Suburbs'
London's new railway is driving up demand for Ealing residential property.
London's upcoming Crossrail commuter service, the Elizabeth Line, is still over a year away from its grand opening in December 2018, but it’s already making an impact on the property market. Demand for housing in some parts of Central London has dropped by up to 20 percent over the past year, as many buyers are looking to more affordable properties out in the Crossrail-connected suburbs.
Cities within commuting distance of London, such as Luton, Reading and Slough, are now some of the fastest-growing areas in the UK for property, but suburban London is also seeing robust interest. Demand for housing in Ealing's Hanger Lane area increased by 73 percent in 2016, a trend that property developers have been quick to respond to.
Village living in London's leafy outskirts
Like many places in London, Ealing has a colourful history that it has managed to hold on to despite its transformation from rural village to metropolitan suburb. Uxbridge Road was once one of the main trading routes in and out of the capital, and was regularly menaced by highwaymen. Founded in 1902, local institution Ealing Studios is also the oldest continuously working film studio in the world. It is still going strong today with productions such as Downton Abbey.
Named the 'Queen of Suburbs' by architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner, Ealing combines the best of small village and city living, with its abundant green spaces, cosy local pubs, modern shopping centres and eclectic restaurants serving a wide selection of international cuisine. The majority of Ealing residents (63.4 percent) live in apartments and almost half (44 percent) of households belong to the upper middle or middle class, based on the 2011 census.
With the first Elizabeth Line trains due to arrive in Ealing in 2019, this Zone 3 suburb is attracting a surge of interest from London commuters as well as overseas buyers looking to invest in residential properties with solid growth potential.
House prices to grow by 50 percent
In the report Crossrail: Identifying Opportunities, global real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) named Ealing Broadway as one of the areas that's likely to benefit the most from Crossrail, with house price growth forecast at around 50 percent from 2014 to 2020.
JLL's Head of UK Residential Research, Adam Challis, explained: “Areas experiencing significant regeneration to combine with the Crossrail effect will benefit most, but all Crossrail locations will reap the rewards of a higher profile alongside greater consumer and developer interest.”
As well as cutting journey times to Bond Street from 25 minutes to just 10 minutes, Crossrail will also redesign the Ealing Broadway Underground station and improve its surrounding area. This proposed regeneration is expected to include a new music venue, leisure space, more retail offerings and almost 200 apartments.
One new residential property that's almost ready to welcome buyers is West Gate on Hanger Lane. Developed by Galliard Homes, these high-end luxury apartments will go on sale in September.