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Abbey Wood
Photograph: Abbey Wood by Gobinder Jhitta

Property prices have doubled along the Elizabeth Line

It didn’t take long for ‘location, location, location’ to get its claws into Crossrail

Written by
Annette Richardson

Call it the ‘location, location, location’ effect if you like, but there’s one thing we’ve learnt about the capital’s property prices: if Londoners have to travel, then they want an easy commute. And, it seems like we are always (albeit with a heavy heart and a light wallet) willing to pay the price for the satisfaction of a property with good connections. Until recently, however, those hotspots were fairly limited to the usual streets close to the Circle or Jubilee lines, but now, according to a brand-new survey from Rightmove, whole new areas have opened up to rising property values simply by virtue of being close to the brand-new Elizabeth Line. 

Crossrail is a massive 70-mile project linking Reading in Berkshire with Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south-east London with a mere 30-minute journey from Heathrow to the centre of town, and Woolwich suddenly just 12 minutes from the City. So you can see why investors and would-be landlords are getting all hot and bothered, but it’s pretty scary for London’s would-be renters or – let’s still dream – first-time buyers. 

One of the areas that has undergone a massive rise in profile in the last decade is Abbey Wood in the south-east. Formerly its travel stories seemed to revolve purely around which of the nearby Woolwich ferries had caught fire, but Rightmove’s new Elizabeth Line study reveals that asking prices have more than doubled over the past decade in the local area due to the Crossrail effect. Maryland and Stratford stations have experienced a similar surge in prices. Maryland Station in Newham has seen the biggest jump in price – a staggering 108 percent in ten years, with averages increasing from £233,480 to £486,235. This compares to the London average increase over the past ten years of 55 percent, which is sobering enough. 

Not only are buyers paying more but in a south-east London ‘Squid Game’ turn of events, they are ready to battle each other for the privilege. Competition is now more than nine times that of ten years ago in Abbey Wood.

At the western end of the line, Twyford, the next stop along from better-connected Reading, has seen the biggest increase in the number of buyers contacting estate agents, more than tripling compared to ten years ago to a massive +245 percent).

For renters, it’s a similar story, although you might notice would-be tenants are drifting even further outwards from London, due to the rise in prices here. With the new rail connectivity, rents have risen most in Slough (+44 percent) followed by next-stop-along Burnham (+43 percent). At Custom House, which will benefit from faster trains into central London, competition among tenants is now a staggering 33 times higher than ten years ago. Southall has seen the biggest increase in tenants enquiring compared to ten years ago, more than quadrupling, with tenants attracted by lower rents than nearby Hanwell or Ealing.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Science comments: ‘Our unique view of the whole housing market over the last ten years really shows how many areas near stations that are now either better connected, or have seen their journey times into central London significantly slashed, have received a lot of new attention from buyers and renters. As the Elizabeth Line opens, it does so with a backdrop of record rents in London, a rising cost of living and a shortage of available homes. 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. Not only this, but new working-from-home patterns since the pandemic started two years ago will have many people weighing up whether they are prepared to commute from further away if they need to do so less often.’

Hmm, after reading this, wherever you are, you might feel like you want a duvet day. Or year.

If you are more of an east London type, here are Hackney's fanciest (priciest) streets.

Or check out Villanelle’s hidey-hole in Stanmore that’s up for sale.

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