What should investors expect from the Eastern section?
The Crossrail route map provided by Transport for London (TfL) outlines that the stops on the Eastern section of the line will include Shenfield, Brentwood, Harold Wood, Gidea Park, Romford, Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Seven Kings, Ilford, Manor Park, Forest Gate, Maryland and Stratford.
The line aims to run 12 Elizabeth Line trains each hour between Shenfield and London. Outside of peak times, this will be lowered to 10 trains per hour. At peak times, an additional four trains an hour will run between Gidea Park and Liverpool Street mainline station.
This section has, in theory, been in operation since May 2015, with TfL operating the stopping services between Shenfield and Liverpool Street under the banner of TfL Rail, but the links to the other parts of the line and Central London remain missing for now.
Renowned for hosting the London Olympic and Paralympic games in 2012, Stratford has been transformed in recent years thanks to the Olympic and, more recently, Crossrail effect. The area, rich in culture and community but very run-down and deserted before the decision was taken to regenerate the area for the Olympics, has also seen the arrival of a Westfield shopping centre to help with its restoration.
All Crossrail renovation work was already completed at Stratford station ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. The station holds platforms around 200 metres long that have enough space to fit approximately 1,500 people.
Residents and visitors looking to find a destination to eat, shop, or enjoy leisure facilities can do so all under one roof. Recent statistics show Westfield Stratford City is the largest shopping mall in Europe. Thrills seekers can enjoy the ArcelorMittal Orbit which sits at around 76 metres high, giving it the title of the world’s tallest tunnel slide.
According to recent figures from Zoopla, the average price for property in Stratford was roughly £404,417 in November this year. Foxtons’ Stratford rental reports show that the average rental value is around £488 per week.
Investment potential: 8/10 – one of London’s biggest regeneration projects of recent years, there is plenty more to draw people to Stratford than there was a decade ago – and it’s now one of the capital’s best-connected hubs. That said, it has been criticised for being soulless and hollow, which could put some off.
In the north-eastern part of Stratford is Maryland. Families hoping to move into the area have a range of schools available to enrol their children in. St Francis’ RC and Colegave primary schools are both highly rated for young children to attend.
Improvement works in preparation for the Crossrail line are already complete, allowing space for 1,500 people, three new lifts, and regular trains scheduled every five minutes.
Foxtons’ report on house prices in the area show that the average sold price in Maryland last year was £419,302. Prospective tenants can expect to pay an average rental value of roughly £459 per week.
Investment potential: 7/10 - only one stop away from Stratford, and with the potential for strong rental yields, this intriguing area (whose name alone generates interest) could represent a savvy choice for investors.
Forest Gate, a suburban town in East London with plenty of local shops and eateries, is a diverse location that holds a great sense of community. It is also walking distance from the following three parks: Lee Valley Park, West Ham Park, and Wanstead Flats, making it ideal for those looking to invest close to green space.
Redevelopment work at Forest Gate station, ahead of the Elizabeth Line launch, is already complete. This includes new lifts, WiFi and an environmentally-efficient station.
According to Foxtons’ latest figures, the average sold price in Forest Gate over the last year was £492,503 while average rent prices were £433 per week.
Investment potential: 8/10 - within walking distance of three parks and with a range of local amenities on offer, the investment potential in Forest Gate is undeniable.
The area is known for having various Victorian houses and family-sized homes, and is also home to several schools with “outstanding” Ofsted reports.
Improvement work in Manor Park is now complete. This includes the addition of live travel information, air conditioning, space for 1,500 people, and environmentally efficient trains.
Zoopla’s latest figures show that the average price for properties in the area are currently around £427,336, while Foxtons reports that rent costs an average of £531 per week.
Investment potential: 6/10 – appealing to families, Manor Park seems to lack enough local shops and cafés to make it a buzzing enough area, but once Crossrail is underway, a quick train ride to nearby stations will easily make up for this.
Ilford is jam-packed with local green spaces, pubs, restaurants, and amenities to enjoy. Valentines Park and the Exchange Ilford are popular destinations in the area that are visitors and residents often flock to.
In recent years, over 1,000 new homes have already been built ahead of Crossrail's arrival. With the Elizabeth Line improvement work already carried out, commuters have been able to benefit from new lifts, a larger platform, a new ticket hall and environmentally efficient trains.
Foxtons has the average flat price in Ilford at £312,222, while the average house price is £697,143. Home reports that rent is an average of £1,367 per month.
Investment potential: 8/10 – already a vibrant and popular area, Crossrail looks guaranteed to further boost its prospects - while some of its more unloved parts undergo regeneration.
Located in the borough of Redbridge, Seven Kings is often remembered for its failed attempt to convert Seven Kings Park into a cemetery in 1991. The park still exists, boasting a big open area with a fountain, tennis court, and play area for kids.
Upgrade work in Seven Kings is also finalised, providing commuters with live travel information, WiFi, air-conditioning, and enough space for 1,5000 people.
Recent statistics show that approximately three-quarters of homes in Seven Kings are owner-occupied. Following the Crossrail work that has been completed, Redbridge council announced a mixed-used scheme providing around 236 new homes is underway.
Home reports that the average price of rent in the area is £1,369 per month, while Foxtons reports that the average sold price over the past year is around £421,047.
Investment potential: 6/10 – not a name that will be instantly familiar to many, this is likely to change once Crossrail kicks into gear, although a smaller rental market and fairly high initial buy-in costs may put some off.
Goodmayes is rich in diversity as people of various ethnicities and religions occupy the area. Visitors and residents have Goodmayes Park, which contains a lake, basketball, and tennis courts, while Barley Lane Park is also located nearby.
Home movers with families could enrol their children at Goodmayes Primary School or Mayes Park Primary School as they have both received “good” ratings by Ofsted.
Elizabeth Line improvements at this station are already complete. Commuters with families and wheelchair users can benefit from the new lifts and step-free access that make it more functional for commuters.
Goodmayes is roughly only a 23-minute train ride from Liverpool Street and with Crossrail on the way it will also provide an easy commute to other areas of West London.
Foxtons report that in the last year properties had an average sold price of £373,216.
Investment potential: 8/10 – affordable buy-in-costs, family-friendly, plenty of green space nearby - Goodmayes is set to be boosted by Crossrail more than most and should be one for investors to keep their eyes on.
Chadwell Heath has plenty of restaurants, pubs, supermarkets, dry cleaners, and a post office. Anyone seeking more variation can visit Romford or Ilford town centres.
Thanks to Crossrail, Network Rail and Transport for London, the Elizabeth Line development work at this station is already complete. A brand-new ticket hall, multiple lifts and customer information screen have been installed before the official launch next year.
Rightmove reports that the average house price in Chadwell Heath is £381,988 over the last year. Terraced properties had the most sales for an average of £404,167 while flats sold for around £223,321. Your Move reports that the average rental price in Chadwell Heath is £1,327 per month.
Investment potential: 7/10 - fairly unknown up till now, relatively affordable properties and decent average rents should make this a solid investment choice for investors.
In the past Romford was known as a market town, but nowadays it is known as one of London’s leading districts for retail, entertainment, and leisure.
Visitors and residents can also enjoy a range of green spaces including Raphael Park. Romford is home to many local pubs, clubs, and shopping centres that are easy to reach from the station. The Brewery, The Liberty, and The Mercury are three shopping centres visitors and residents can enjoy.
Rightmove recently reported that houses in Romford average around £385,133. Semi-detached homes went for around £438,693 over the last year while terraced properties sold for £389,637 on average during this time.
Once complete, Romford station will include 200-metre-long platforms and a new entrance to The Battis walkway will be added. New lifts in the station will give commuters step-free access.
Investment potential: 7/10 – already a popular, well-known commuter town, Crossrail should boost this area further and make it a more realistic option for young professionals and students seeking cheaper rents. It has long needed regeneration and a bit of love, and the Crossrail boost has provided this.
Gidea Park is an affluent area that is known for its large properties and beautiful cottages. For those who would like to enjoy transport links close to the city but also benefit from living a life in a garden suburb, this could be the place for you.
Improvement work at the Crossrail station is already finished. There is now space for 1,500 commuters, a train every five minutes, WiFi and step free access from the car park to the main lift.
For November 2021, Zoopla reported that the average price for property in Gidea Park was around £470,081 while the current average value is £496,811.
Investment potential: 6/10 - improved transport links are likely to make this already desirable even more desirable, especially for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. But high buy-in costs could compromise yields somewhat.
Harold Wood is the perfect location for people who wish to save on property prices but also enjoy living a life near central London.
The Crossrail work at this station is finished, meaning it now has space for 1,500 people, air conditioning, trains every five minutes, three new lifts, a refurbished waiting room, and step-free platform onto the street.
Over the last year properties in Harold Wood had an average price of £396,800 according to Rightmove.
Investment potential: 5/10 - one of the lower-profile locations on the line, it could struggle to be heard among the competition. But it is likely to appeal to those commuters who want the perfect blend of city living and something more relaxed.
Brentwood lies in the county of Essex and with Crossrail around the corner, it will be easier than ever to commute to and from London.
The Gruffalo Trail, Weald Country Park, and Warley Place Nature Reserve are only a few of the many beautiful outdoor areas that visitors and residents love to explore. For those hoping to soak up some of the local history, the Brentwood Museum is an attraction run by volunteers, while Mountnessing Windmill is also rich in history as the windmill has been around since 1807.
Improvements at Brentwood station are already complete. The trains hold space for 1,500 people and are scheduled every five minutes. Passengers also get ease of use with the new step-free platform onto the street.
Rightmove reports that the average price of properties in Brentwood is £569,513, while Home’s rental price analysis shows that the average price to rent in the area is £1,287 per month.
Investment potential: 8/10 - best known until now, for better or worse, for TOWIE, the area is already a popular Essex commuter hub that is only likely to become more popular thanks to Crossrail. However, buy-in costs will be high, and average rents aren't as high as in other areas.
Shenfield is an upmarket area located in the Essex countryside. Families often move to this area as it is known for being near excellent schools for children to attend.
Lovers of sport will have plenty of green spaces to enjoy in Shenfield. Cricket fans are open to joining Shenfield Cricket Club, founded in 1921, while the Hutton Cricket Club is another alternative. Local golf and football clubs are also no stranger to the Shenfield area.
There are plenty of stores along the local high street - however, residents hoping for a nearby shopping centre for some retail therapy and leisure activities should consider visiting The Brewery in Romford. The new line will make London much easier to reach, potentially making the area more popular than ever among buyers and tenants.
According to Rightmove, over the last year house prices in Shenfield had an average price of £793,646. Meanwhile, House for Sale and To Rent says that properties to rent in the area have an average price of £1,173.12 pcm at present.
When the Elizabeth Line finally opens, Bond Street station will then be just 48 minutes away from Shenfield station. Shenfield is known for its countryside, so transport links to the city will give residents a better balance between city and country life.
Investment potential: 6/10 - has been given a major boost by being the eastern terminus of the new line. Many people might not have heard of Shenfield before, but that has definitely changed, albeit the area may still appeal most to families.
Crossrail as a concept – linking East and West London – has origins dating back to the 1940s, and finally received royal assent in 2002. Since then, it’s been a long and troubled journey for the controversial project.
However, with 2021 almost over and an early 2022 opening potentially on the cards, now could be the time for investors to invest in any of these well-liked areas that seem guaranteed to generate interest among buyers and tenants now and in the future.