Southbound services on London’s new Elizabeth line were because of open at the end of this year, but have finally been delayed until Autumn 2022. Despite this, will the shorter commutes it delivers boost local house prices – and have properties already benefitted?
The multi-billion pound project, referred to as Crossrail, will provide a 73-mile east-west express service between Reading in the western world, and Shenfield and Abbey Wood within the east.
Given services result from commence to Abbey Wood and Woolwich, Which? requires a closer take a look at how house prices may be affected during these areas, or whether the growth spurt has already been and gone.
Where is Crossrail running?
The latest phase from the Crossrail project will open in Autumn 2022. This section from the Elizabeth Line will connect Abbey Wood, in London’s south-east, with Liverpool Street and Paddington stations, in addition to Heathrow Airport.
Currently, your way from Liverpool Street to Abbey Wood takes around 45 mins using a mixture of Underground, DLR or National Rail. When the new route is operational, exactly the same trip will take just 17 minutes on one train.
Journeys to the airport are also likely to be significantly easier. Abbey Wood to Heathrow currently takes a minimum of an hour or so . 5, and involves multiple changes. In future, passengers will enjoy a journey of just 50 minutes to the new Heathrow Central station.
Other stations along this line, including Canary Wharf, Custom House and Woolwich, currently benefit from DLR services. But the express Elizabeth Line service is likely to halve journey times – the trip from Woolwich to Liverpool Street is anticipated to take 17 mins, rather than 33 mins.
Will Crossrail push-up prices?
Once completed, the Crossrail project will bring south-lying suburbs Abbey Wood and Woolwich significantly closer to the centre of London. So, are property owners living in the area likely to visit a boost to their home value?
A comparable scenario to the Elizabeth Line opening may be the Overground extension between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, which opened in December 2012.
Prices in Peckham, where two new stations opened, jumped 69% between April 2011 now, from lb303,155 to lb514,463, based on the Land Registry.
During the same period, house prices throughout London were rapidly rising – the Land Registry reports development of 64% for the region. What this means is price increases might not have been entirely driven by the new rail line, but rather a general market upswing.
House prices near the first Crossrail stations
Between April 2011 and April 2022, Abbey Wood grew at almost double the amount London average. The typical home value climbed by 146% according to data from Rightmove. In nearby Woolwich, meanwhile, growth continues to be impressive at 85% in the past seven years.
The Crossrail project was announced in December 2008, so it’s possible that homeowners in these areas have already been paying reasonably limited awaiting improved transport links.
You may also consider how properties within a similar distance of the city compare.
A 17-minute commute to Liverpool Street can make Abbey Wood on par with Wanstead, around the Central underground line. The average price in Wanstead is currently lb460,809, almost lb80,000 a lot more than in Abbey Wood, Rightmove found – though Wanstead can also be three miles closer in to the centre.
If you’re tempted to buy in Abbey Wood, or across the new Crossrail line, keep in mind that increased infrastructure may bring negatives too – if, for instance, your new home is right next to the new line, or are affected from increased commuter traffic.
It’s worth noting the general London market has now began to slow, with the Land Registry showing prices dropped by 1% in the past twelve months.
Keep in your mind that it’s difficult to make any accurate predictions on property values, as housing prices are influenced by a variety of factors, from macro-trends such as the economy and employment market, to hyper-local issues for example street appeal.
Are new Crossrail hotpots still affordable?
By London house-price standards, Abbey Wood and Woolwich are some of the less expensive regions of the main city.
In Abbey Wood, the typical house price within the SE2 postcode was lb379,931 in April 2022, while nearby Woolwich has an average price of lb351,149, based on data from Rightmove. By comparison, the average for Greater London as a whole is lb747,645.
Looking specifically at flats, the Greater London average price is lb650,547, when compared with just lb216,286 for flats in Abbey Wood.
You can easily see full info on house prices in the postcode of the planned stations below.
|Growth since 2011
|Current journey time
|Crossrail journey time
Where is the greatest place to buy?
When you’re planning to buy a property, location is everything – apart from finding a home affordable that meets your requirements, you should consider the way the area is changing and how the local property marketplace is moving.
If you’re tossing up between two areas, you can use our tool to check two local authorities on the wide range of factors.