The new London to Oxford Crossrail trainline: eight commuter hotspots to watch

All eight commuter options - including the best of Berkshire’s villages, Reading, Goring and Oxford - are within 60 minutes’ journey time and the new line will also provide direct links to the West End and City for the first time.
The new Crossrail line will have a huge impact on transport options for commuters converging on Paddington station each morning, offering, for the first time, direct links to the West End and City.
 
There are eight commuter options between Paddington and Oxford that are within 60 minutes’ journey time — the magic number. They include the best of Berkshire’s villages plus one of the loveliest collegiate cities in Britain, with a new station opening north of Oxford this autumn.
 
Exclusive research from estate agents Savills on the “super eight” reveals which are the best value and where property is performing most strongly — an invaluable guide for those considering a move to the country.
 

Commuting: Reading, Goring, Oxford
 

Reading — 26 minutes
This isn’t exactly countryside, but Reading’s a swift commute at 26 minutes with some good village options nearby.
 
Since it will be on the Crossrail line, too, from 2018, those who live within its hinterland will find their journeys to work becoming (almost) a pleasure. Commuters who stick to the Great Western main line will also get a faster journey when electrification is completed.
 
According to today’s research, an average Reading property is priced at £288,274, up almost nine per cent in the last year, and 12 per cent above pre-recession levels.
 
Craig Pearson, managing director of Parkers estate agents, says the market in the town centre has “gone ballistic” thanks to the forthcoming transport improvements.
 
“Virtually every one- and two-bedroom flat is being snapped up by an investor for buy to let,” he says. “A standard one-bedroom flat now costs about £225,000 — £25,000 more than it did in January.”
 
Families moving to Reading tend to go to the suburbs, in search of the best schools and houses with gardens.  Maiden Erlegh School, rated good by Ofsted, is particularly popular, located four miles east of the city centre, just beyond Reading University.
 
Reading’s most attractive homes are in the villages that surround it. Matthew Mannall, a partner at Knight Frank, recommends Stoke Row, eight miles from the station, for its classic Chiltern brick-and-flint houses and cottages.
 
“It has a thriving community with a village shop, a post office, primary school and reputable restaurant The Crooked Billet,” he says. British film star Kate Winslet celebrated her first marriage, to assistant film director Jim Threapleton, at The Crooked Billet in 1998.
  • Find houses and flats for sale in Reading


Goring — 53 minutes
Goring and Streatley station is 53 minutes from Paddington (annual season ticket £4,188) and it covers a hinterland with the highest average house prices along this line, at £546,923. It has also enjoyed the best price growth of all the areas studied, up 16.6 per cent in the past year and 17.9 per cent since 2007.
 
James Elliott, director of Davis Tate estate agents, says the two villages —separated by the Thames and joined by a bridge — enjoy a countryside location with National Trust properties Lardon Chase, the Holies and Lough Down as neighbours. The Chilterns and the North Wessex Downs are both on the doorstep.
 
But Londoners who believe they can buy a period character house with half an acre of garden here for £500,000 should instead expect to pay up to £400,000 for a three-bedroom post-war terrace. There are some dreamy period homes, but they are priced £1.5 million to £2 million.
  • Find houses and flats for sale in Goring


Oxford — 57 minutes
Oxford scrapes into the “within 60 minutes” category. Services to Paddington take 57 minutes and an annual season ticket costs £4,788.
 
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£5.25 million: a six-bedroom detached house in Crick Road, Oxford. Through Hamptons

An average property in the city will cost £422,158 and Oxford’s housing market is currently outperforming London’s, up a healthy 10.8 per cent in the past year and 34.3 per cent since 2007.
 
This booming market means there is little in the way of value housing in Oxford, particularly if you want to be in walking distance of the station.
 
These areas include lovely Jericho, with its narrow streets full of painted cottages, great shops, pubs and restaurants along Walton Street, and an independent cinema, The Phoenix, where you might bump into Slumdog Millionaire scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy.
 
Local primary schools St Barnabus and St Philip and St James are both highly sought after. Simon Lawton, director of Savills, says prices for a Jericho two-bedroom cottage have hit the £550,000 to £650,000 mark — and there is a real shortage of any larger properties.
 
If you do want a smaller house then Grandpont and Osney are full of Victorian terraces and within walking distance of the station. A two-bedroom cottage is about £500,000.

 
North Oxford is the swishest part of the city with a four-bedroom house costing from £1.5 million. 
 
This autumn a new station opens north of Oxford at Water Eaton. Services will run to Marylebone in 58 minutes, and a four-bedroom house in nearby Kidlington would cost about £500,000.
 
“The new station will make Oxford much more do-able for many more people,” says Lawton. “It is very good news.”
  • Find houses and flats for sale in Oxford

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