Crossrail continues to boost London property prices as service fast approaches
London's Crossrail Elizabeth Line will begin services in December 2018. Overseas property buyers still have time to benefit by investing in the right places.
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.
Just minutes from London's major financial centers, Whitechapel in the East End is set to be one of Crossrail's biggest beneficiaries. JLL predicts a 36 percent jump in rental rates from 2016 and some of the greatest price growth in the capital, with most of this upswing expected after Crossrail completes in 2019.
Still time for Crossrail investment
Mandy Wong, Head of International Properties at JLL Hong Kong, says overseas investors still have plenty of opportunities to benefit from Crossrail.
“Even though the Elizabeth Line has been being built for many years, many neighborhoods are still set to benefit,” she explains. “It takes time for developers to plan buildings and bring them to the market, so there are still a lot of good residential investment opportunities opening up.
“We're seeing a greater number of higher quality products along the line becoming available, all of them sound investment opportunities. There are now more amenities and better infrastructure is being put in place along the Elizabeth Line, making these districts more attractive areas to live and to invest in.”