Property Hotspots

As new rail links improve the journey times of your commute, they also substantially widen the property search area for prospective purchasers and add value to real estate along the way—creating new property hotspots.


Those looking to invest in property which delivers great yields and long term capital growth should consider the popular town of Brentwood in Essex, where property prices are set to soar in the next ten years. A new report by property consultant GVA predicts that prices will increase by 19 per cent by 2021 due to the new Crossrail line, which will offer excellent links into central London when complete. Local agent Beresfords recently reported that buy-to-let demand has risen by 85 per cent in the last four years and anticipates this number will continue to rise as more investors try to get in on the action.

City & Country’s Brentwood development, The Galleries, has proven extremely popular since its launch in 2006, with over half of the development now sold. The apartments appeal to a wide range of buyers, including downsizers, investors, young professionals and first-time buyers.

According to GVA, Crossrail could help create billions of pounds in added value to real estate along its route by 2021. Mike Taylor, Director at GVA said: “One of the biggest impacts of Crossrail will be on the commercial and residential property market with additional value of as much as £5.5 billion generated along the route. Crossrail will have a distinct impact on the residential property market not just in London but also around several areas in Essex and Berkshire. Crossrail is more than a new rail link, it will be the catalyst for regeneration and a key driver in maintaining London’s position as a leading global city.”


New plans to modernise the rail links between London and Cardiff will see journey times between London and Bristol reduced by 20 minutes, to around an hour and 20 minutes, when complete in 2017. The rail improvements are likely to increase demand for property in the Bristol area and substantially increase the size of the property search area for those commuting to London.

Based on the assumption that those living in the Bristol area will be willing to travel for up to two hours each way – including getting from their home to Bristol Temple Meads rail station – the rail improvements will open up a much larger search area for London commuters. Areas in this extended search zone include Clifton, Sneyd Park, Leigh Woods, Redland, Bedminster, Southville, Failand, Wraxall and Wrington Vale.
A good example is a property currently on the market on the Clare Road in Cotham. It is ideal for professional couples looking to start a family and move out of London and is on the market for £625,000. A similar house in London’s Earlsfield or Balham would cost closer to £1m.

“Bristol doesn’t attract as many buyers looking to commute to London as Bath does, but the shorter journey times from 2017 will change this,” says James Toogood, Head of Knight Frank’s Bristol office. “If you compare property prices in Bristol with those in London, the appeal of moving here becomes clear.”
Similarly, comparing the cost of buying in the Home Counties around London with that in the Bristol area, it is clear just how much more you get for your money in Bristol. For just an extra half an hour or so on the train – once the rail improvements take effect in 2017 – the average price per sq ft in the prime Bristol area is just £309 compared to an average of £450 per sq ft in the prime Home Counties.
Toogood says: “I honestly believe this will provide a significant boost to the Bristol market and cause prices to rise between 5% and 10% over and above market trends. This potential growth has not yet been realised by those outside the property industry but I am sure that it will become more apparent as 2017 approaches.”


From 2017 Crossrail will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London. It will link Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London, Canary Wharf, the Royal Docks and Stratford, providing Eurostar international services to Paris and Brussels. Two eastern routes of the ambitious project will pass through Newham – one via Stratford and another through the Royal Docks. It is hoped they will create a “golden corridor” providing a huge boost to the economies on the route, providing thousands of jobs and homes for local people.

For first time buyers looking to take their first step onto the property ladder in east London, Stratford Halo is the perfect location. Just a 10-minute walk from Stratford station, Genesis is offering a collection of brand new apartments through their shared ownership scheme. Those who take advantage and buy now are expected to benefit most from the boost that Crossrail will bring to the area in future years.

Ideally positioned, the development provides first time buyers the opportunity to benefit from one of London’s best-connected locations, thanks to a huge investment in infrastructure; meaning residents can enjoy a speedy commute into central London, the City and Canary Wharf. It is served by the Jubilee and Central lines on the London Underground, the Docklands Light Railway and overland rail services and high-speed domestic rail services that will allow commuters to travel into central London in just seven minutes. Buyers stand to benefit not only from the Crossrail connection but also from the wide array of new amenities and improved transport links now on the doorstep as a result of the Olympic infrastructure.

Read also on: Prime Property in Central London

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