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How the ‘Crossrail Effect’ Could Stave off a Property Slump

Experts pick the developments best placed to benefit from London’s future transport upgrade.

Since 2009, on and mainly beneath the streets of central London, the mighty Crossrail railway construction project has inched closer to reality. The transit service will reduce travel times and transform the way residents and visitors interact with the city. In February 2016, the Queen was given an early 90th birthday present when the new route was christened the Elizabeth Line.

For those looking above and beyond the 42km of new tunnels and 10 new stations, Crossrail also presents property investment opportunities. Even given the economic uncertainties of Brexit, property experts are recommending areas close to Crossrail stations because transport has been proven time and again to be a boon to property values.

Prices of houses near Crossrail stations have risen higher than the London average, and higher than property near non-Crossrail stations, in the last few years. A further rise of 3.3 per cent annually predicted until completion in 2018, when the expected increase in value of residential property boosted by the so-called ‘Crossrail effect’ will reach £35bn.08.2016 - Value increase

The so-called Crossrail effect, increasing property prices, will likely also ripple further than new developments close to Crossrail stations

Here are eight property developments along the Crossrail route, which stretches from Reading in Berkshire to Abbey Wood in south east London and Shenfield in Essex, that will certainly become more connected and, according to leading property consultancy CBRE, almost certainly more valuable:

Taplow Riverside
This development near Maidenhead station is almost unique in London, says CBRE Residential UK chairman Mark Collins, because it’s “next to a prime stretch of the Thames”.

Dickens Yard
The soon-to-launch Elizabeth Apartments, a short walk from Ealing Broadway station will make Canary Wharf easily commutable from this part of west London, since Docklands will be only 25 minutes away.

The Mansion
Upmarket developer Clivedale is readying this 22-apartment development in Marylebone, less than five minutes’ walk from Bond Street station.

Centre Point
Opposite Tottenham Court Road station, this iconic London building is currently shrouded behind a protective skin as work continues to turn it into a state-of-the-art residential tower with a piazza at its base.

Artisan; Soho 13
Two small 13-apartment developments not far from Tottenham Court Road station: a five-minute walk north into Fitzrovia and a 10-minute walk into the heart of Soho, respectively.

One Park Drive; 10 Park Drive
As well helping those who work in Canary Wharf, Crossrail will be beneficial to its residents, whose will be able to get to Bond Street in 13 minutes and Heathrow in 39 minutes.

08.2016 - Crossrail Hot Property Developments

Beyond these eight developments highlighted by CBRE, the Crossrail effect will likely ripple further afield. Developments such as London Dock, on the site of the former News International HQ in Wapping, will appeal to City high-fliers who walk to work and like the options opened up to them by Crossrail’s Whitechapel stop. At the south end of Blackfriars bridge, the One Blackfriars tower will be a short walk from Farringdon Crossrail. And there is the ongoing, huge regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula, where North Greenwich station will be one stop along the Jubilee Line from Crossrail’s Canary Wharf stop.

08.2016 - Crossrail commuters

The impact of Crossrail on London as a whole will be huge, with a predicted 200 million passengers a year on the Elizabeth line and 1.5 million people brought within a 45-minute commute of central London. Those owning property closest to its stations may see significant improvement in the value of their portfolio. “Don’t believe for a second that property price gains from Crossrail will peak when it opens in 2018,” says Jennet Siebrits, CBRE’s UK Head of Research, “because the benefits will be continual.”

Giles Barrie is Managing Director, Strategic Communications of FTI Consulting, and a former Editor-In-Chief of Property Week.