London’s new railway development, Crossrail, is predicted by the official Crossrail Property Impact Study to have a transformative effect on the property market and property development in the city.
The new railway development also aims to improve journey times across London, alleviate congestion and provide better transport connections. Services are expected to begin in 2018.
The project necessitates the construction of 21km of twin-bore tunnels and eight new stations in central London and Docklands, and will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow International Airport in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Major benefits of the project include the enhancement of stations and the surrounding urban environments, the instigation of development opportunities, and the generation of investment activity along the route.
Conducted in October 2012, the Crossrail Property Impact Study reports that the development is already influencing investment choices. It is estimated that it could help create an added residential and commercial value of up to GBP5.5 billion (US$8.86 billion) along its route between 2012 and 2021. The study also reports that the new railway will aid the construction of over 57,000 new residential properties within a 1km range of stations along the route. In addition, it is predicted that that there will be a considerable rise in the value of residential property in the immediate locality of stations, with an increase of up to 25 percent in central London, and 20 percent in the suburbs above the rising baseline projection in the period.
With regards to the commercial sector, the study reports that Crossrail will aid the development of 3.25 million square metres of commercial office space in the vicinity of the route. In addition, it is anticipated by the study that the price of commercial real estate in the locality of Crossrail stations in central London is expected to increase with an uplift of 10 percent above the rising baseline projection in the period. Indeed, the new railway will be the first ever connection between all of London’s main business districts, although given the dominance of the current office groupings, it is unlikely that Crossrail alone will generate entirely new major locations of demand, but rather reinforce already growing office clusters.
In central London, the study has listed Farrigdon, Whitechapel and Canary Wharf as some of the key areas to watch for changes in the property market, in both commercial and residential sectors, as a result of the new railway.
One of the UK’s foremost property developers, Land Securities, commented that, “Crossrail will have a positive effect in the long-term. It has already changed our views on development investment and property acquisitions in areas along the route… It will reinforce London as a place to invest, which has got to be good.”
Source: Property report