It’s been anticipated by real estate experts that larger cities like London will bounce back post-pandemic after the pressures of lockdown drove home seekers out of the capital and into rural towns. Now, that time has come. Since social restrictions were lifted in the UK several months ago, general confidence towards returning to a social and active community has resumed, and now with the opening of the long-awaited Elizabeth Line, footfall quickly returns to London, making it easier and quicker than ever to reach the inner city from its outskirts.
What is the Elizabeth Line?
“[The Elizabeth Line is] helping avoid a car-led recovery by providing new journey options, supporting regeneration across the capital, and adding an estimated £42bn to the UK economy.”Howard Smith, Director, Elizabeth Line Transport for London
The new Crossrail opened in May 2022 and is Transport for London’s (TfL) newest railways service that stretches from London’s suburbs into the city centre. With 31 new and improved stations and 10 brand new stops, it spans more than 60 miles, from Reading and Heathrow, passing through Paddington and Liverpool Street, all the way to the east, ending at Shenfield and Abbey Wood.
The main benefits of the line are to “dramatically” improve London’s transport network, cut journey times, and increase capacity and accessibility throughout the city.
Not only will this new railway innovate travel in and around the capital, but the trains themselves are state-of-the-art with the ability to reach new top speeds, larger interiors for increased capacity, and internet access on-board as well as energy-saving lighting and temperature controls.
How will the Elizabeth Line affect house prices?
It’s easy to see why the demand for this brand-new rail service has sky-rocketed, meaning that house prices have been rising to match. Property prices in the UK have been increasing over the past few months already due to inflation, with a record growth of nearly 10% year on year, but with the revolutionary Crossrail line now coming into play, these numbers are expected to grow even further as the new, ultra-convenient travel method proves extremely popular even before being fully open.
In its opening week, over 1m passengers were reported to have used the central section of the route, with Abbey Wood one of the top destinations. Considering this phenomenal start, the Elizabeth Line is bound to be a popular choice for thousands of commuters once fully functioning.
Even whilst currently operating at an incomplete capacity and staggered service as works on the new line continue, plenty of areas along its map have already increased in value by as much as 70% over the last decade in anticipation of the demand surge.
Generally, having good access to train stations increases property value. Historic performance shows that properties within 500m from a London Underground station have been priced at over 10% more than those further away. A similar trend was spotted in regions like Glasgow and Manchester, with the homes within walking distance of a train station being priced more than 5% higher. This leaves very little doubt that, once the Elizabeth line is fully open, house prices around its stations will continue to rise.
Property hotspots on the Elizabeth Line
Since the announcement of the constriction of the Elizabeth Line, neighbourhoods in east and south-east London have shown substantial property price growth. Over the last decade, the top 3 regions for average price growth were:
|Region||Average property price increase|
It’s an unsurprising result that some of the furthest stations have experienced the largest price hikes. With only 28 minutes from Abbey Wood to Paddington, it’s now possible to reach central London just as quickly as from zone 3, but without the central London price tag. Even with Covid-19 and Brexit coming into play, this didn’t slow prices down in these areas, with over 11% of Manor Park’s increase having taken place in the last two years.
“[These areas] came from the lower 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.”Lucian Cook, Savills
Despite some growth over the years, areas such as Acton, Ealing and Canary Wharf were amongst those that saw the least progression, having grown by 59%, 58%, and 62% respectively (albeit these numbers are still high). However, now that the innovative line has started to operate and following its grand opening week, industry experts see large potential for such towns to catch up in price growth as well. It’s likely that, once the new trains are used more regularly, demand for property will surge throughout the entirety of the line.
Is it worth investing in a property on the Elizabeth Line route?
Even though a considerable rise in asking prices (as well as rents) has already happened over the last several years, there’s further room for growth and significant potential in the real estate investment market. Considering the lengthy construction and a 4-year delay to the opening of the Elizabeth Line, many investors hesitated to act in the early stages, leaving greater opportunities for new investors to reap the benefits further down the line.
“Areas further out from central London which have lower asking prices or rents but are now more easily commutable will be attractive to new buyers and tenants in search of somewhere affordable to live near the capital.”Tim Bannister, Director of Property Science, Rightmove
Following new flexible working patterns since lockdown, these easily commutable regions are likely to continue to rise in demand as many working professionals have resumed travelling to the office at least once or twice a week, so the need to commute has returned. This means that now more than ever, convenience and the ability to get around quickly are essential to those returning to train travel, and now that home buyers can have that without moving closer to the city, it’s a game-changer.
Even those without a need to regularly move around the city are finding convenient access to and around London an attractive prospect when looking for a new home. With Covid-19 on its way out and consumer and travel confidence back in, the idea of visiting the capital for a day out or meeting friends and family is a great advantage, giving home seekers the unique opportunity to live far enough from the city centre to escape its hustle and bustle whilst having the option to visit conveniently, quickly, and easily when needed.
Not only will the Elizabeth Line streamline London’s rail network, but it has already drastically opened up the property market for new and existing real estate investors. A decade ago, the areas that were most convenient were limited to the city centre, and that radius quickly became congested and expensive. Now, the new Crossrail means there’s more choice, so you can invest in property that’s geographically further away but more affordable and has the same, easy connections as those in more central zones, giving both investors and homebuyers the chance to take advantage of the new railway’s halo effect.
How do I invest in property along the Elizabeth Line?
Many neighbourhoods across the Elizabeth Line have had a lot of attention from investors already, but there are still numerous investment opportunities to explore on the new map. Towns along the London-Essex border have been spotted by real estate experts as having high potential, with areas such as Harold Wood and Chadwell Heath having strengthened in house prices since work began on the new train line.
At Propiteer Capital, we strategically choose the locations of our property developments, making sure that we bring investment opportunities in high-profile, profitable locations, such as Brentwood. Even before the Elizabeth Line, Brentwood was already conveniently placed for commuters with direct Greater Anglia trains into London and Overground and TfL Rail links at neighbouring stations.
Property prices in Brentwood have also been benefitting from the placement of the Crossrail over the years. The below graph shows the average property price in Brentwood since the announcement of the Elizabeth Line in 2012.
Prices across all property types have grown by over 70% in the last decade, and over 4% of that growth has taken place in the last 12 months. This means that plenty of investment opportunities remain as the Elizabeth Line develops over the next few months.
If you’re interested in investing in property in the growing and popular Essex town of Brentwood, our Brizes Park development is ideally located to benefit from the many advantages of the Elizabeth Line, with the station less than a 15 minute drive away.
This landmark property is nestled in beautiful Essex countryside whilst having what are now top-of-the-range links to central London. The development consists of bespoke residential apartments in the Main House as well as several conversations and new-build luxury homes. You can find out more about our Brizes Park development here.
To invest in this property hotspot, our Residential Rentals bond is suitable for high-net-worth investors and offers fixed returns of up to 5.5% pa. Our bonds feature flexible payment options as well as exit notice periods of as little as 60 days. You can find out more about our buy-to-let model bond by visiting our website, or get in touch with our friendly customer service team if you have any questions about starting your investment journey with us.
Rates are accurate at the date of publishing. For our latest rates, please visit our homepage.
Recommended Read: Exeter Hilton Perfectly Placed to Take Advantage of Huge Growth Plans