Where to buy along the Crossrail route:the Elizabeth line stations where average property prices are less than £350k

House prices along the Elizabeth line are some of the fastest rising in London and the commuter belt, but there's still value to be found if you know where to look...

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.

 

Three hotspots to watch

1. Reading

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.

> Read our full area guide on Reading

 

2. Brentwood

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.”

> Read our full area guide on Brentwood

 

Forest Gate

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.

> Read our full area guide on Forest Gate


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