After years of controversy and delays, the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) is officially set to open on 24th May. This rail route will pass through some of the Capital's most popular areas, such as Bond Street, Paddington, Tottenham Court Road, and Liverpool Street. It will also link Shenfield with Reading and branch off to key locations like Heathrow and Canary Wharf.
The Crossrail will stop at 40 stations - 10 newly built and a further 30 that have received upgrades - and it's anticipated that the service will be used by approximately 200 million people a year, bringing an additional 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London.
The long-awaited line is finally preparing to open nearly four years late and seriously over budget, with test trains currently running.
New services to open in stages
The first big Crossrail opening on 24th May will be the Elizabeth Line's passenger service between Abbey Wood and Paddington stations. Following that, Heathrow, Reading, and Shenfield services are expected to open in the autumn of this year, operating through central London.
The final opening is expected to happen no later than May 2023, after which the full timetable will be in operation.
The 'Crossrail Effect'
One of the primary focal points of the Crossrail has been its effect on London property prices, with many micro property booms occurring in areas close to Elizabeth Line stations.
Despite the chaos of Brexit, the pandemic, and rising inflation costs, key locations have experienced significant property price growth along the anticipated line. Some have even witnessed a staggering 50% increase - so the question on everyone's lips is whether there is any more room to capitalise on property growth resulting from the 'Crossrail Effect.'
Key areas of investment opportunity along the Elizabeth Line
Despite the significant growth already seen, there are a number of pockets along the line that still feature prime investment opportunities. Given the lengthy delays and controversies that hampered Crossrail's plans along the way, some investors held back, leaving room for others to still get in on the action.
If you want to move or invest to take advantage of the line, here's our list of top property hotspots to watch.
Tottenham Court Road
The area has been undergoing a huge £1 billion redevelopment programme, delivering new residential, office, and retail space, new squares, pathways, and greenery, and attracting new businesses and customers.
Despite having already experienced such significant growth, there may well be room for a little more, given the extent of redevelopment works that have also played a key role in boosting the market.
The majority of sales in the vicinity of Tottenham Court Road Station during the past year were flats, with an average price of £1,566,333.
Forest Gate is located on the southern edge of Epping Forest, and neighbours Stratford and Leytonstone. It has enjoyed significant gentrification over the past few years, thanks to the Olympic Games and the opening of Westfield Shopping Centre.
The transport links are a major drawcard for potential buyers, made all the more appealing by the Crossrail. Once the Elizabeth Line opens, locals will be able to catch a train to Tottenham Court Road in just 17 minutes.
The zone 3 district also offers a wealth of affordable Victorian houses, and is a haven for investors, and first-time buyers. The average price of a Forest Gate property currently stands at £493,625.
Farringdon is set to become one of Britain's busiest train stations, and the only station from which passengers will be able to reach three London airports, plus access to Crossrail, Thameslink, and Underground trains.
The Farringdon area guarantees to produce a good return in rental income, due to the post-pandemic return to high demands for living in central areas close to the commercial and transport hubs and universities.
Farringdon’s property prices have shot up in recent years, having risen by a staggering 48% since 2019. That said, the superiority of the transportation links available once the Crossrail opens leaves it open for further consideration as the area is destined to remain highly desirable. The average price of a flat in Farringdon is currently £702,000.
Straddling the London boroughs of Bexley and Greenwich, Abbey Wood currently presents a significant investment opportunity, with an average price of properties within a kilometre of Elizabeth Line stations currently at a relatively modest £366,505.
The area of Abbey Wood has been undergoing a complete overhaul in recent times as part of a joint regeneration initiative between the Royal Borough of Greenwich, The London borough of Bexley, and the Crossrail developments.
The area is turning into a thriving residential and business hub that will only increase in popularity with the opening of the Elizabeth Line.
Fittingly, Acton is home to the London Transport Museum Depot, and the Elizabeth Line has been significantly impacting property prices in and around the Acton Main Line area.
Transport infrastructure and regeneration are making a real difference to Acton. There are some highly desirable areas to live in, such as Poet's Corner, the Mill Hill Conservation Area, or anywhere along the Bedford Park borders due to the fairly recent demolition of the South Acton Estate. The area directly around the imminent Crossrail station is also extremely sought after.
Average property prices currently sit at £678,784, having risen by 11% since 2019. However, you can still pick up a flat in Acton for an average price of £459,224, and with the Crossrail finally opening, we are likely to see investments appreciate further in the area.
IIlford will finally be on the Tube map as a result of the Crossrail.
IIlford is certainly becoming gentrified due to TfL's transport plans. New build apartments, trendy eateries, and bars have been shooting up in the east London borough, signalling that a wave of new buyers will soon be moving in.
It's one of the best-value areas in London, and though property prices have been rising since the Crossrail announcement, the average price of a flat in Ilford is still a reasonable £254,644.
Opportunity still abounds
As well as these key outlined spots, there are still a number of decent options for investing in a Crossrail pocket property under £400,000. Most are on the fringes of London, such as Chadwell Heath and Harold Wood on the edge of Essex, and the outer west London neighbourhood of West Drayton.
As far as other central investment options go, Woolwich is an area benefiting from regeneration works and is located six miles east of Canary Wharf, with average home prices currently sitting at £375,146.
Are you thinking of moving or investing to take advantage of the line's opening? If so, you'll need to move quickly - we expect the market to get extremely competitive once the line opens.
Give us a call on 0204 5793 011 if you’re looking for any advice or would like to find out what properties we have for sale on our books. If you’d like an instant property valuation, click the link and type in your postcode and get an update within minutes.