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Harrow poised to experience the ‘Crossrail Effect’ as government considers Hertfordshire extension
November 21, 2014Article by Charlotte Ashton
A report from Knight Frank last year showed that property prices within a 10 minute walk of central London Crossrail stations had risen by 30% since the massive transportation project’s initial announcement back in 2008. While prices had also risen elsewhere in London, the Crossrail areas had experienced an 8% higher growth in values, highlighting the impact of the project.
Knight Frank also looked at likely future price rises, with the report demonstrating an additional rise of 1.2% annually over the five years to 2018 for the Crossrail areas when compared with wider prime areas of London.
Feeling the effects
A year after the Knight Frank report, the ‘Crossrail Effect’ was being felt in full force in Woolwich. Chairman of Berkeley Group’s East Thames division John Anderson comments,
“Prices have risen from £450 per square foot to £550 since last June, when it was announced the station would be built.”
Now, with the government considering a Hertfordshire extension to the line, communities near to the proposed new stations are eagerly awaiting a decision on whether or not the Crossrail Effect will soon be heading their way. Ray Withers, Chief Executive of specialist property investment company Property Frontiers, cites Harrow as an example of one of the areas that could potentially benefit,
“Harrow is already a really well connected area in terms of its transportation links, with five over-ground and five Underground stations. If Harrow and Wealdstone is added to the Crossrail network, a hike in house prices seems imminently likely for this increasingly popular area.”
Time to invest
With one eye always on changes likely to impact the property market, Withers sees now as the opportune time to pick up a bargain buy-to-let apartment in Harrow, which is fast becoming known as London’s hottest urban village. Property Frontiers’ latest investment opportunity in the area, Carnegie House, has apartments available for between £210,000 and £320,000.
The development is just 12 minutes by public transport from London Marylebone and thus perfect for the large number of young professionals who have flocked to London for work but who want to live somewhere with a little more green space than such a central area offers.
The Crossrail extension could shave a full 15 minutes off journey times into other central London stations. Such a move would further increase Harrow’s popularity as one of the capital’s key commuter towns.
Europe’s largest infrastructure project, Crossrail has been hailed as a “once in a generation scheme” by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. Government figures show that more than 11,000 people are currently working on Crossrail, spread across over 40 sites. As well as affecting those directly employed, Crossrail’s impact on local economies is set to be staggering in its impact when all elements are considered.
While further announcements on the Hertfordshire extension are awaited, many of those with a flair for profiting from property are quietly investing in accommodation in the Harrow area, sensing the way that the decision is likely to go.