Living near train tracks isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when you think about what boosts property prices.
However, according to data from estate agents
Knight Frank in its “Crossrail: Analysing Property Market Performance from Reading to Shenfield 2015” report, more and more Britons are opting for the convenience of being near public transport and are therefore pushing up the prices on properties that are within a maximum 10 minute walking distance of a certain Crossrail train line.
Crossrail, Europe’s largest infrastructure project, is set to be completed and become fully operational by the end of 2018. With three years to go, more and more people are buying properties near the Crossrail stations in anticipation of the transport connections to and from London.
Knight Frank said that the average property price increased along the Crossrail route (as pictured) compared to a 43% uplift in the wider area since the project received Royal Assent in July 2008. This is when a parliamentary bill is turned into an Act of Parliament (law) after the Queen formally agrees to it.
Knight Frank said in a report that the average property price within 10 minute walking distance to Bond Street station rose by 82%, while those near Acton rocketed 77% over the last six years. In Acton’s surrounding areas, there was “only” a 33% rise over that time.
“Our research shows overall price performance continues to be stronger in the central London sections of the Crossrail route,” said Gráinne Gilmore, head of Knight Frank UK Residential Research, in the report.
“However, over the last 12 months, the price ‘ripple’ effect in London has really started to take effect, with stronger price growth in areas surrounding central London. This could help feed into stronger price growth around stations towards the East and West, especially those which have underperformed to date, and where housing supply is set to be delivered in the coming years.”
“The planned levels of development along the outer sections of the route should provide scope for price uplifts as the public realm is improved, amenities receive a boost and buyers have new reasons to visit the area. The relative ‘discount’ in terms of price per square foot in these areas compared to more central locations is also likely to work in their favour. We expect that as the opening of Crossrail approaches, the increased connectivity combined with new development will result in price outperformance in these areas.”
As of 2014, London’s population passed its previous record-high, seen just before the outbreak of the Second World War. Knight Frank said that forecasts show that by 2036, Britain’s capital population will reach 10 million, and “demand for public transport will have risen by another 50%.”
According to Transport for London, the population is estimated to grow by one full tube train every three days.
The underground carried a record 1.3 billion passengers between 2013 and 2014.