Crossrail house price boom: Reading, Maidenhead and Slough to become property hotspots
Crossrail may be billions of pounds over budget and three and a half years behind schedule, but it’s finally ready to roll.
This extraordinary feat of engineering will be commissioned on Tuesday, when it will take its correct title of the Elizabeth Line.
The Queen paid a surprise visit to Paddington Station this week and officially opened the line.
Online: The Thames flows through Maidenhead, which will now enjoy a direct link to central London thanks to its new Crossrail station
Linking Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east with Heathrow and Reading to the west of the capital, it will link existing suburban railways, speeding up journeys across the city and relieving crowding on the London Underground, particularly on the often hellish Central Line. .
Travelers’ travel times will be drastically reduced; Reading to London Liverpool Street, for example, will take less than an hour.
When fully operational, it will increase London’s rail capacity by 10 per cent, making it the largest single expansion of the city’s transport network in over 70 years.
There are still some bugs to fix. Initially, passengers traveling from Reading in the west to Abbey Wood and beyond will have to change at either the mainline Paddington or Liverpool Street stations.
Also Bond Street is three months behind schedule. The trains won’t get there until later in the year. However, these delays pale into insignificance when considering how the Elizabeth Line will transform rail travel in the capital.
Cross Town – The Elizabeth Line will run east to west through London, starting in Berkshire and ending in Essex.
The new station at Paddington, for example, is the size of three Wembley football pitches, with natural light reaching the platform entrance from an almost 400-foot-long glass canopy.
Over £1 billion has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks. The spacious tunnels will lead to 600-foot aerated platforms, with glass screens at the edge of the tracks, making it impossible to fall under a train.
Step-free access from the street to the train will make the service wheelchair accessible.
The air-conditioned nine-car trains will feature colorful benches and open interiors with full-width connections between cars. You’ll be a world away from today’s cramped and cluttered carriages.
Few engineering projects change the way we live, but The Elizabeth Line promises to do just that. People are already flocking to the new stations.
Savills’ research last year found that, over the past five years, homes within 0.6 miles of about half of the stations on the line have risen in price by 25 percent or more.
It follows that when the sleek new trains come into service, taking people to their places of work twice as fast, we can expect a westward migration from London.
Here are the access points:
Spending: Over £1bn has been spent on upgrading 31 existing stations and tracks
Not long ago, Reading was best known for its brewery and cookie factory, not anymore.
International companies including Amazon UK, Virgin Media and KPMG have moved in and with houses at reasonable prices, compared to London, the city is already popular with travellers.
“I recently dealt with a young woman who sold her 750sqft flat in London for £600,000 and bought a 1,750sqft maisonette in Reading for £650,000,” says James Hathaway of Winkworth estate agents.
The city has plenty of green spaces, riverside promenades, the Grade II listed Thames Lido, and excellent shopping, especially on Broad Street and the Oracle Centre. The median price of a home sold in Reading was £384,000 last year.
Compare that to the £512,000 average price in, say, East London and you’ll see why an exodus from the capital is forecast when the Elizabeth line makes commuting a doddle.
maidenhead move on
This Berkshire town is keen to attract the city’s bankers who had previously been put off living there by having to traverse the capital’s underground system to get to work.
“The Elizabeth Line changes all that and buyer inquiries have already started to increase,” says Dawn Carritt of Jackson-Stops realtors.
“The prospect of living near the river in Maidenhead or in nearby towns like Sonning and Bray is appealing.”
Maidenhead (with Theresa May as MP) is on the cusp of a renaissance. Its 1960s-era shopping center will be transformed into The Nicholson Quarter, a stylish mixed-use center.
The riverside area is developing and trendy cocktail bars and restaurants like Coppa Club are thriving, a sure sign of a city on the rise.
Ricky Gervais did Slough no favors when he set up The Office there. However, the city has a lot going for it. It is well located for travel, nestled between the M4 and M40 and with easy access to the M25 and Heathrow Airport.
First-time buyer portal Share to Buy states that Slough has been one of the UK’s top ten property hotspots over the last decade with a 73 per cent rise in house prices.
The Berkeley Group is redeveloping the former factory and Horlicks site to create 1,300 homes.
A small flat is selling for £150,000 and a three-bedroom townhouse for £350,000. Downtown is being upgraded and with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line things can only get better.