Since work began on the high-speed Crossrail line seven years ago this month, property prices along the east-west route have been steadily rising.
In the last year alone, average prices have soared by a third, with further rises predicted to exceed local house price growth by 3.3 per cent a year until the route, which was recently renamed the Elizabeth line, opens at the end of 2018.
However, there is still value to be found along the line because average house prices on a third of the line are still under £350,000 – with average prices in the 10 cheapest areas below £285,000.
The 13 cheapest areas on the Lizzie Line
The 13 cheapest areas on the Lizzie Line
1/13 Chadwell Heath
Av. house price: £246,000
Located in the London borough of Redbridge, commuters will be able to reach Paddington in 34 minutes - 16 minutes less than the current journey time of 50 minutes. City workers will be able to reach Canary Wharf in 23 minutes rather than the current time of 33 minutes. As a result, house prices rose by 19 per cent over the last year.
Av. house price: £253,000
London-bound commuters will be able to travel into Liverpool Street in 39 minutes, cutting 9 minutes off the current travelling time. From December 2019, four trains in each direction will serve Slough station. In 2016 house prices rose by 24 per cent.
Av. house price: £255,000
Once the Elizabeth Line is fully running, commuters will be able to cut their journey time into Paddington of 48 minutes down to 32 minutes. Trains will arrive into Canary Wharf in 21 minutes - down from the current 31 minutes. Thanks to improved transport links, house prices in the area have rose by 19 per cent in a year.
4/13 Seven Kings
Av. house price: £256,000
City commuters will be able to cut their journey time from 29 minutes to 19 minutes once the Elizabeth Line opens. Trains will arrive into Paddington in 30 minutes - cutting 16 minutes of the current journey time. s such, house prices in the area rose by 19 per cent in a year.
Av. house price: £262,000
Located in the London borough of Ealing, commuters from this suburb will be able to reach Liverpool Street in just 24 minutes - almost twice as fast as the current travelling time. The travel time to Canary Wharf will be cut down to 31 minutes from 50 minutes. As a result, house prices have risen by 11 per cent in a year.
Av. house price: £268,000
The journey into Paddington will be cut by 19 minutes, reducing the commuting time to 37 minutes. Plus, travelling to Canary Wharf will take 27 minutes instead of the current 37 minutes. Thanks to the Elizabeth Line, house prices have risen by 27 per cent in a year.
Read our full area guide on Romford
Av. house price: £268,000
Commuters from this Kent village will be able to cut their train time by a third - with 21 minutes being shaved off their 64-minute journey to Liverpool Street. Those travelling into Canary Wharf will also reduce their journey time from 70 minutes to 49 minutes. As such. prices in the area rose by 21 per cent in the last year.
8/13 Gidea Park
Av. house price: £277,000
Commuters will be able to shave 10 minutes off their journey into Canary Wharf, taking it from 39 minutes to 29 minutes. A direct train to Paddington will take 40 minutes - down from the previous 58 minutes. House prices in the area have increased by 15 per cent over the last year.
9/13 Harold Wood
Av. house price: £278,000
City commuters will be able to cut their 43 minute journey into Canary Wharf down to 32 minutes when the Elizabeth line opens. There will be 12 trains running each hour at peak times. House prices in Harold Wood have risen a staggering 30 per cent in a year.
Av. house price: £282,000
Travelling into central London from this Berkshire town will take just 29 minutes to reach Bond Street station- shaving 19 minutes off the current journey time. Canary Wharf travel time will be cut down to 43 minutes from 68 minutes. From December 2019, up to four trains an hour will travel in each direction. House prices have risen a comparatively modest by 7 per cent in the past year.
Av. house price: £318,000
A fast and frequent train service already links Reading to Paddington in around half an hour, but when the Elizabeth line arrives, commuters will have direct links to Bond Street in 55 minutes, to Liverpool Street in 61 minutes, and Canary Wharf 67 minutes. Prices have risen by just over 23 per cent in the last year.
Read our full area guide on Reading
Av. house price: £332,000
Brentwood, which is best known as the setting of TV show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) already has a train service to Liverpool Street, but the Elizabeth Line will link the town to Tottenham Court Road in 40 minutes. Buy-to-let landlords have made it a competitive market place for one- and two-bedroom flats and so over the last year prices have risen by 16 per cent.
Read our full area guide on Brentwood
13/13 Forest Gate
Av. house price: £347,000
This Zone 3 town on the edge of Epping Forest neighbours Stratford and Leytonstone. An existing overground train to the City takes 13 minutes. Once the Elizabeth line opens Tottenham Court Road will just be a 17-minute train ride away. Gentrification is in full force and prices have risen by 17 per cent over the last year.
Read our full area guide on Forest Gate
Three hotspots to watch
House prices in Reading, the westernmost Crossrail station, average £318,000, but two-bedroom flats within a mile of the station start from £215,000.
"London's booming economy has benefited Reading, but it more than holds its own as a thriving town," says David Fell, research analyst at Countrywide. "With the price gap between Reading and London at an all-time high, last year more Londoners than ever before left the Capital for a life in the Berkshire town."
This commuter hotspot is undergoing significant regeneration, with new homes near the revamped station under construction in the town centre and overlooking the canal.
Three and a half acres of office space, shops, restaurants and 300 flats are also under construction. Once complete, Station Hill will be the largest mixed-use development in the Thames Valley.
A fast and frequent train service already links Reading to Paddington in about half an hour, but when the Elizabeth line arrives, commuters will have direct links to Bond Street in 55 minutes, to Liverpool Street in 61 minutes and Canary Wharf in 67 minutes.
At the other end of the line, Brentwood, best known as the one of the settings of TV reality show The Only Way Is Essex, has average house prices of £332,000, with two-bedroom flats sitting at around the £275,000 mark.
There are very few new developments and the town has a boutique feel, with lots of popular independent shops, which is what attracts - and retains - residents.
Brentwood already has a train service to Liverpool Street, but the Elizabeth line will link the town to Tottenham Court Road in just over 40 minutes.
“One- and two-bedroom flats have been flying off the shelves over the last six months, with buy-to-let landlords have been investing because of Crossrail," says Carl Gable from Beresfords. "The recent changes in stamp duty slowed this down – we expect this to be a temporary lull and we're already seeing interest come back.”
Rapper Plan B and actors Idris Elba (Luther and The Wire) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) spent their formative years in this east London town on the edge of Epping Forest.
This Zone 3 district has Stratford and Leytonstone as neighbours and has an overground train to the City that takes 13 minutes. However, once the Elizabeth line opens, Tottenham Court Road will be a mere 17 minutes away.
It’s not only ‘the Crossrail effect’ that has put a rocket under Forest Gate property, says estate agent Rash Cheema from Spencers. The area was first boosted by the Olympic Games in 2012, followed by the opening of the nearby Westfield shopping centre.
“Gentrification is in full force,” says Cheema. “A trendy pizza restaurant has opened opposite the station and high-profile foodies are moving into the area. But the locals aren’t keen on sky-high new builds ruining the local vibe.”
The area known as “the village” and the roads running up to Wanstead Flats have become particularly desirable, with prices on a par with Leyton and creeping up to Walthamstow levels. Average prices are still £347,000, with two-bedroom flats selling for around £275,000.