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Crossrail property hotspots: Elizabeth line stops with the greatest house price growth

·5-min read
 (Daniel Lynch)
(Daniel Lynch)

As London’s newest transport link steams into action the true winners — and losers — of Project Crossrail can finally be unveiled.

A decade after work began on the Elizabeth Line it is the unassuming south east London suburb of Abbey Wood which has seen the strongest price growth in the capital.

Average prices have accelerated 107 per cent in the area, from £175,550 back in 2012 to £362,870 today, giving early adopter buyers a paper profit of almost £190,000.

Forest Gate, in east London, has seen prices shoot up by 101 per cent in the same period, to an average £447,980.

In nearby Manor Park prices rose 97 per cent to hit an average sale price of £481,370, according to exclusive research by estate agent Hamptons which analysed price performance across the line.

Table: 10-year Crossrail winners

Crossrail station

Average price

10-year growth

Abbey Wood

£362,870

107%

Forest Gate

£447,980

101%

Manor Park

£481,370

97%

“Crossrail has been the missing link in London’s transport network for many, many years,” said Raul Cimesa, head of London new homes at Knight Frank.

“It’s opening will unlock and finally link neighbourhoods across London that previously buyers may have felt were less well-connected or too complicated to get too.”

What today’s top three locations have in common is relative affordability.

Abbey Wood: Housing association Peabody, which owns the bulk of the Thamesmead estate, is spending more than £1bn on transforming it into a thriving new neighbourhood (Daniel Lynch)
Abbey Wood: Housing association Peabody, which owns the bulk of the Thamesmead estate, is spending more than £1bn on transforming it into a thriving new neighbourhood (Daniel Lynch)

A decade ago they were amongst the cheapest options along the line, and buyers with an eye on investment potential have surged in to take advantage.

“These are the areas which always had the most to gain,” said Lucian Cook, head of residential research at Savills.

“They came from the lowest price point and more affluent buyers started to be attracted to them because of the new ways to commute. They were also more accessible to a wider part of the market.”

Forest Gate: Prices have shot up by 101 per cent in a decade, to an average £447,980 (Daniel Lynch)
Forest Gate: Prices have shot up by 101 per cent in a decade, to an average £447,980 (Daniel Lynch)

The Crossrail locations which have seen the weakest price growth over ten years started out as three of the most expensive choices.

Acton and Ealing, both in west London, have seen price growth of 59 and 58 per cent respectively since 2012. Canary Wharf has managed 62 per cent price growth in the same period.

“These areas were more fully priced at the beginning of the period,” explained Cook. “Still, Crossrail has had an impact in these areas, it has brought them to the attention of buyers and they will have been more inclined to hold on to properties because of the potential of price growth.”

The new Crossrail hotspots

During the pandemic a new breed of Crossrail hotspots has emerged, led bySouthall, in deepest west London, where prices have leaped by just over 14 per cent in two years to an average of £425,000.

Manor Park has continued its winning streak, with two year growth of 11.4 per cent.

And Hanwell, a cheaper but equally leafy alternative to Ealing and Acton, has enjoyed two year price growth of 10.3 per cent. Average prices are now £586,463.

James Hyman, head of residential at Cluttons estate agents, believes Crossrail has inspired buyers to look at locations in outlying zones – Southall and Hanwell are both in Zone 4, and neither currently have a tube station; Manor Park also lacks a tube and is at the boundary of Zone 3 and Zone 4.

Table: two-year Crossrail winners

Crossrail station

Average price

Two-year growth

Southall

£425,000

14%

Manor Park

£481,370

11.4%

Hanwell

£586,463

10.3%

“People are selling their boxy one bedroom new build and getting more room and outside space,” he said. “Ironically even though they might be moving further out of London their commuting times, with Crossrail, will be considerably quicker.”

At the other end of the scale, prices have slipped by 4.3 per cent in Woolwich and three per cent in Whitechapel since 2020, as buyers flee more urban areas in search of open space and back gardens.

Ealing Broadway has suffered a 3.4 per cent price drop, perhaps because its £704,329 average price is prohibitive to many buyers.

House prices have slipped in Ealing, perhaps because the £704,329 average is prohibitive to many (Daniel Lynch)
House prices have slipped in Ealing, perhaps because the £704,329 average is prohibitive to many (Daniel Lynch)

Across the entire Crossrail line, the strongest price growth since work began in 2012 has been in its eastern section (north), from Whitechapel to Chadwell Heath.

Prices have grown 85 per cent in that time to an average of £433,000.

Prices along the eastern section (south), from Canary Wharf to Abbey Wood, have grown by 71 per cent, to an average of £522,100, while prices on its western section, from Acton to WestDrayton are up 63 per cent to £600,100.

More recently, however, the western section of the line has started to play catch up. Prices have grown 8.1 per cent since the start of the pandemic, while the eastern (north) section is up 5.8 per cent, and the eastern (south) section a below inflationary 3.3 per cent.

Buying agent Caspar Harvard-Walls, a partner at Black Brick, believes that there is potential for a price bounce as buyers finally get to see the state-of-the-art line in action.

Prices on the western section of the Elizabeth line, from Acton (pictured) to West Drayton, are up 63 per cent (Daniel Hambury)
Prices on the western section of the Elizabeth line, from Acton (pictured) to West Drayton, are up 63 per cent (Daniel Hambury)

“I think that it had been delayed so many times that people had almost forgotten what it actually was,” said Harvard-Walls.

“When people actually see these modern, air-conditioned trains and the really fast journey times I think there will be a huge surge of demand.”

And Cimesa believes the impact will be felt beyond the main Crossrail line. “This super-charged connectivity will have a big domino effect across the whole of the capital, especially on areas that sit a few stops away from the new line either by bus or tube,” he explained.

“This is where we could see the biggest benefits, because key areas such as Canary Wharf, the West End and the City will suddenly become a lot more accessible – most people’s changeover stations will be reconsidered, and this will have a positive impact.”

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