The Crossrail Effect on West London

Having received Royal Assent in 2008, Crossrail is anticipated to increase the rail capacity of London by at least 10% when it opens in 2018. As the largest infrastructure project undertaken in London for at least the last two decades, Crossrail is the biggest upgrade to London’s railways since the Second World War.

Perhaps the greatest effects on the London Property market is being seen in the boroughs in the west of London being Acton, Ealing Broadway and West Ealing (which will all have Crossrail station is integrated with the current existing tube stations) which are seeing the significant increases in house prices as property investors rush to stay (“ahead of the game”). The key to the increase in the value of properties in these areas derives from the reduced commuting times to Greater and Central London brought about not just by the greater efficiency of Crossrail (with the travel time to Bond Street from Ealing Broadway being reduced by as much as 45%) but also by the resulting reduction of traffic on the already congested roads.  The fact that Crossrail is anticipated to bring the Centre of London within “striking range” of these areas increases the viability of Acton and Ealing as residential areas for the financiers, bankers and corporate lawyers of the City and is welcome news for those that have been effectively priced out of Central London.

Another significant effect of Crossrail is that it will significantly reduce travel time to Heathrow (travel time from Acton to Heathrow reducing for forty-eight minutes to 23 minutes and Ealing Broadway from 22 minutes to 12 minutes) which is anticipated to encourage many more businesses to  relocate to Acton or Ealing where land and property prices are cheaper.

Acton has seen the greatest rise in house prices, with houses within ten minutes’ walk of Acton Station, rising by around 48% from July 2008 to July 2013. House prices in Ealing have risen by 13% in the same period. The number of new residential developments around Acton Station has also significantly increased with as many as five separate schemes currently going through the planning process.

Although Ealing Broadway has always been fairly well connected with the Central Line and District l tube services, the number of stops on the Central Line between Ealing Broadway and Bond Street, for example will be reduced to 4 in comparison with the current 11. Again, an added bonus will be the ability to take the train straight to Heathrow rather than having to combine the overland train with tube as is currently the case. Ealing Broadway is set to be considerably upgraded which in turn is anticipated to attract additional commerce into the area.  Average house prices around Ealing Broadway Station have already outperformed those in the wider borough of Ealing by as much as 10% between July 2008 and July 2013.

West Ealing station is likely to see the greatest changes and is due to be redeveloped in time for the opening of Crossrail. Currently a mainline station linking services to the West Country (for example, Paddington to Bristol) the addition of a Crossrail terminal will introduce greater flexibility with the introduction of direct links to Central London and in particular, Canary Wharf. Currently in order to travel across London from West Ealing Station a commuter has to take two different trains; with the opening of Crossrail the journey will be direct with the travel time reduced by 50% and taking an average of 28 minutes. House prices have risen by 12% since 2008 with the average price of a house within striking distance of West Ealing Station averaging 5% more than those within Ealing as a whole.

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