Crossrail to have major impacts on London's property markets

CB Richard Ellis welcomes the announcement that Crossrail is to go ahead as fantastic news for London and believes that the largest transport project in a generation in the capital will have major impacts on its property market.

Commenting on the news, Kevin McCauley, CBRE’s Head of London Research, said: “The confirmation that Crossrail will go ahead is great news for London. Expansion and improvement of transport infrastructure is necessary for the continuing growth of the London economy and the Crossrail project has a pivotal role. Previous surveys of London’s performance as a place to live and work routinely highlight the deficiencies in its transport infrastructure. Congested roads and overcrowded trains are a constant source of frustration and a significant cost to businesses. There is a real threat that without significant improvements to its transport network, London’s advantages as a world city for business and finance will be eroded.”

Crossrail will help support London’s economic growth and the development of its regeneration areas by improving access to and within the capital, increasing transport capacity and easing congestion on the existing network. The provision of a direct link between Heathrow and numerous Central London locations will greatly enhance the City’s appeal as a major global financial centre. This will significantly improve the attractiveness of certain locations like the Docklands with an estimated journey time of 48 minutes to Heathrow.

Kevin McCauley said: “From a commercial property market perspective, we believe the overall impact will be to increase demand for office space within London and an enhancement of rental values in locations benefiting from improved accessibility. As well as supporting growth in established core locations, a number of new and emerging locations will benefit as well. This will enable further office development in the Docklands and boost demand at Paddington.

As London planning policy is supportive of higher density development at major transport interchanges, we can expect major new office schemes to be proposed near the new Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road Crossrail stations. Farringdon will provide a key interchange between Crossrail and the upgraded Thameslink, and hence is likely to a significant focus for new development.”

Mark Teale, CBRE Director of Retail Research, commented: “West End retailers will also benefit significantly from Crossrail as shoppers find it quicker and easier to get to the main shopping areas along Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street. Our research on future shopping patterns in London shows that Crossrail will help offset the impact of the Congestion Charge and ultimately help West End retailers to compete with out of town locations such as Bluewater. “

CB Richard Ellis also perceive that housing in areas close to Crossrail stations is likely to see significant price gains as a result of the enhancements in accessibility. More peripheral locations, such as Hayes and Maidenhead, will see the largest gains, as they will benefit most from improvements.