‘I’m reaping the house price rewards of Crossrail – just four years late’

Homeowners near stations on the new Elizabeth Line are waiting with baited breath for house prices to arise as the line finally opens today – three and a half years later than originally planned.

There will be a rush of properties for sale that sit along the line, also known as Crossrail, as sellers finally get to cash in on the side perk of a speedy commuting time – rising house prices.

In Acton, west London, an area about to benefit from better transport links to the center of the capital, Salim Hussain, of Marsh and Parsons estate agents, has had hundreds of conversations with potential buyers and sellers about what the Europe’s newest transport line will do to house prices.

However, the many residents in the outskirts of both east and west London, and speculative buyers and landlords, have had to wait years for such estate agent speculation to turn into reality.

Mr Hussain added: “Over the last four or five years, they have always been saying they will sell next year, next year, because they have been waiting for the line to open. Now that it is actually coming, people expect house prices to rise considerably.

“Of the people on my books who want to sell, I would say 30pc have delayed because it wasn’t the right time. Now, that’s changed and prices will rise by 5-10pc by November.”

However, the house price bump will be muted compared to what many expected in 2018 – when the Elizabeth Line was meant to open. London Underground’s latest trains are opening their doors in a completely different world. Weekday travel using the capital’s transport system is at 60pc of pre-Covid levels. Five-day peak commuting is at just 15pc of what it was before the pandemic. Faster commutes matter less to buyers who need to be in the office less often.

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However, house prices will rise, particularly in the more far flung areas that will see the biggest differences in journey times. In 29 or the 39 stations along the line, the property market is “hot”, according to analysis by PropCast, a data company.

Markets around the central London stations already well-connected are classified as “cold”. In Tottenham Court Road and Bond Street, just 11pc of advertised homes are under offer.

This is a major contrast to Gidea Park, in the London Borough of Havering, which is the most competitive market on the line. Here, 80pc of available properties are under offer. It is followed by Abbey Wood, near Greenwich in south east London, where the share is 77pc. The commuter towns of Reading in Berkshire and Shenfield in Essex were also among the top 10 most in demand markets.

Now the line has opened, lives will change for those who moved to new hotspots, or invested their savings hopeful of a return. Some may be able to finally make a profit but others have been left trapped.

‘I had to wait four years, but now Crossrail has halved my commute’

For some, the opening of the line is a godsend. Pragya Adukia, 40, works as an architect. Her construction sites for her are in Liverpool Street in east London, while her office for her is in Canary Wharf. This has been a 70-minute journey from her home to her but the Elizabeth Line will cut this by 30 minutes.

She and her husband purchased in Acton in 2018, just before the delay was announced, because they knew Crossrail would cut their travel time to work and central London.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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