It was revealed last week that Crossrail 2 could be delayed by up to a decade, with the £31bn infrastructure project not appearing until the 2040s in order for the required funding to be sourced.
In a leaked business case report from TfL to the government, it was revealed that a funding shortfall is threatening to prevent the scheme from getting the final go-ahead from ministers.
However, despite the future of the line now being questioned, this hasn’t prevented rents from rising significantly in affected areas since the scheme was originally announced. The latest Landbay Rental Index has found that a substantial spike in tenant demand in the four and a half years since the route was declared has increased rents in 13 of the 15 local authorities impacted by Crossrail 2. In the area around the proposed north terminus of Broxbourne – a commuter town in Hertfordshire – rents have gone up by 21.5%.
This is a marked change from when the new line was first proposed in February 2013. At that time, rents were declining in 7 of the 15 local authorities which were set to be home to stations on Crossrail 2.
Once the announcement was made, there was a large rise in tenant demand in the year afterwards, with rents growing in all but one of the areas (Epsom) affected.
The largest rent rises since February 2013 were experienced in the local authorities that sit at the North and West extremities of the route. As well as Broxbourne, Enfield (up 13.8%), Haringey (up 11.4%) and Spelthorne (up 10.5%) all saw considerable increases.
The issues with the line – and the government’s reluctance to grant final approval to it – have started to have an impact, with rents falling again in nearly every local authority. In the past year only Enfield has seen rents rise, and even then it’s been a modest 0.4% increase. What’s more, rents in Enfield have started to fall too, down by 0.2% between August and September. Dwindling tenant demand and falling rents are also being witnessed in Broxbourne (-1.75%), Richmond (-1.13%), and Spelthorne (-2.16%).
“The idea of a north/south London railway dates back to the 70s, but it was only in 2013 that we found out where Crossrail 2 would actually run,” John Goodall, CEO and founder of Landbay, commented.
“Planned infrastructure is a key driver of tenant demand, so rents and property prices along the planned line quickly followed suit. But news that the line may now be delayed by a decade is nothing short of a hammer blow to all those that have had the foresight to plan that far ahead.”
He added: “What’s needed by tenants, landlords, buyers, business, and builders is a clear commitment from the government that the project will be delivered in 2033 as expected. Not only to help people and businesses plan their lives ahead, but also to allow adequate time for local authorities to plug housing shortfalls before demand spirals out of control.”