Despite Brexit, currency fluctuations and new tax rules, investment in London property continues, especially for areas that will benefit by the Crossrail expansion. While Crossrail construction will not be completed for a matter of years, locations in London are already preparing for the first trains with new public and private investments. A recent survey showed which parts of the city were most likely to benefit from the new stations once completed.

The Crossrail construction project, which began in 2009, is the largest European infrastructure investment and Britain’s single largest construction project with 75% of the construction not only completed but being done so on time and within budget. With over half of the train lines laid down the platform structures and structures for the 10 new stations have now been built. Each station has been designed by a different architect in order to give each one its own distinctive look and three quarters of the train route will be above ground on the existing rail network that serves outer London, Berkshire and Essex. Network Rail has contributed £2.3 billion to the Crossrail system construction for capacity and station upgrades.

Current London Underground tube upgrades include the £1.5 billion extension of the Northern line including new stations at Nine Elms and another at the massive regeneration project at Battersea Power Station connecting it with Kennington and an extension to Clapham Junction.

Approval for the Bakerloo Line extension will have new stations near Old Kent Road junctions with Albany Road and Asylum Road. The extension is expected to be completed by 2030 with a price tag of £2.57 billion. This expansion has already started new regeneration plans of Old Kent Road with up to 20,000 homes, parks, schools and a new over ground station to be named New Bermondsey.

Locations and Zones

What areas of London are expected to get the most benefits from Crossrail and other transport improvements?

Property investment including the buy-to-let market is making these locations into new investment hotspots for those still interested in the London property market. A recent August 2016 report made by Portico examines the best locations to invest has reviewed the following areas.

One of the locations expected to have the one of the benefits of Crossrail is Ilford (tube zone 4). The area is being touted the new Bethnal Green because of the affordable cost of living and the new shops and cafes that are now available. The Crossrail will be in Ilford next year, ‘All in all, Ilford is being smartened up, encouraging first-time buyers to settle down here.”  Average house price is at £433,437. Rental prices are £1,267 pcm.

The next is Hounslow tube zone 4 near Heathrow airport and access to the M4 is popular for its housing values attracting buyers and renters from Isleworth and Twickenham and regarded by the report that the location ‘…has made it extremely attractive area to investors.”  Houses prices are averaging around £435,967. Rental price is at £1,194 pcm.

Greenford, where the average house is selling for £463,04, and rental prices at £2,245 pcm is located in tube zone 4 and has become popular because of its still affordable home prices ‘…a multi-million pound project has transformed the town centre, which now offers a buzzing street market, a public library and a string of nice shops.’  The area will also be benefiting from the Night Tube and 24 hour bus services from Greenford Broadway and Ealing Broadway,

Another location is Croydon tube zone 5 with homes averaging £401,474 and is considered a ‘…a first-time buyer and buy-to-let haven, thanks to its affordability, newly gentrified look, and its quick transport links into central London.’  The location is in London’s largest borough also has the largest youth population.

Also making the list is Wood Green with a little higher home price of £533,056 and rental of £1,400 pcm. Located in tube zone 3 is an area that is preparing for regeneration and certainly home price increases and the report sees the area as a long term investment location.

Centrally located and considered generally a safe investment is Whitechapel where average home prices reach £836,026 and rental at £1,930 pcm. The report states’ ‘This is down to big infrastructure changes like Crossrail, plus the fact that the Silicon Roundabout is becoming such
a popular place to both live and work.’

Portico also reviewed Forest Gate, tube zone 3, which has an average house price of £473,727 with rental prices at £1,420 pcm. Property prices ‘skyrocketed’ when news that Crossrail would become available.

West Drayton in tube zone 6 is another location to benefit from Crossrail that is also bringing a new park next to the station and walkways to the canal. Helping to make it a good living and commuting location the report finds ‘…it’s just a short distance from both west and central London, and frequent fliers will benefit from the fact it’s also close to Heathrow airport, making it a good base for young professionals working in the City and those seeking a Pied à Terre.’

Not surprising is the inclusion of King’s Cross with its average home price of £993,477 and rentals at £2,304 pcm. The tube zone 1 location is now considered a hotspot for potential landlords and is also known for its transport services at the regenerated King’s Cross station. It is known for its business community, leisure activities including bars and restaurants and home to the University of the Arts and a new office complex being opened by Google.

Finally, the location of Acton in tube zone 3 has helped it make Portico’s list thanks to its well connected rail station and incoming Crossrail next year. It is reported that the Night Tube will help in keeping: ’demand with tenants and buyers looking for affordable accommodation and a central London lifestyle.’ The average house price is currently at £763,474 with rental prices at £1,878 pcm.

The London market continues to move along despite negative projections with this summer’s events and there are still some great opportunities for the buy-to-let market and especially for the foreign investors as the sterling still remains at historic lows against the US Dollar.

By Kevin Murphy:

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