A century before Crossrail got under way, another vital piece of transport infrastructure was boosting a swathe of London to the west of Paddington. Grand Union Canal was cut through much the same territory as the new west-east rail route and these two “arteries” now feed off each other, with canalside regeneration linking with new and upgraded Crossrail stations and bringing more homes and neighbourhoods to the likes of West Drayton, Hayes & Harlington and Southall.
“Areas along the west London section of the Crossrail route have seen the highest price growth of any part of the line this year,” says Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International. These western areas will benefit from the biggest reduction in journey times to central London. Aware of this, savvy buyers are putting down roots now, or investing in buy-to-let properties.
The 31-acre site used to be home to the UK’s main air traffic control centre and was a barbed-wire compound. Inland Homes is building flats and good-value, spacious townhouses with gardens. Prices for one-bedroom flats are from £199,995, with three-bedroom houses from £394,950. Call 01895 431901.
Drayton Wharf is a smaller new-build scheme of 51 flats beside Grand Union Canal. Prices from £200,000. Call 01895 444 424. Local estate agent Cameron says nearby Brunel University has made the area a hotspot for investors.
Hayes and Harlington
This new station will have a spur to Heathrow, which has thrown the area into the spotlight. High Point Village, a new urban quarter, will have 600 homes, a hotel, shops, bars and restaurants butting up against Grand Union Canal. Resale two-bedroom flats are priced from £350,000. Call estate agent Moving City on 020 8012 4623. In Hayes town centre, two-bedroom flats cost from £150,000. Call Hunters on 020 8012 1981.
Another of the few places outside central London to get a new Crossrail station, Southall is also getting one of the capital’s biggest new neighbourhoods, unveiled by National Grid and developer St James. At least 3,750 homes will be built on an 85-acre former gas works bordering Grand Union Canal.
Along with standard-issue terrace houses and semis for those who can’t quite afford Ealing,there is still a village centre with church and clocktower in Hanwell — though there’s not a wide choice of shops, canalside walks, country-style pubs or golf courses. French families are drawn to the André Malraux French primary school.
This feels a planet away from Ealing, being a far grittier, sprawling urban mishmash, carved up by train tracks and busy roads. It’s packed with young renters and buyers who can’t afford Hammersmith or Shepherd’s Bush and are looking for a place on the up. One-bedroom flats start from £280,000.
“There’s still a lot of work to do to bring the high street up to scratch,” admits Hamptons’ Matt Gilbert. But there are pockets where regeneration is making a difference. Agents wax lyrical about Poets Corner, a collection of streets grouped around Shakespeare Road, with pretty, small-scale terraces. Prices from £750,000 to £1.2 million.
Acton Gardens is a regeneration project bringing 2,500 homes around squares, courtyards, parks and play areas. Prices from £375,000, with Help to Buy available. Call 020 8993 6923.
READ MORE FROM OUR CROSSRAIL SERIES:
- Part one: Here comes Crossrail - the property hotspots to watch along London's high-speed rail link
- Part two: Hot homes with fast commutes along London's Crossrail route: from Reading to West Drayton