Cross­rail 2: house prices on the move

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Markets -

The se­quel to Lon­don’s high speed line has not been given the green light, but buy­ers are hop­ping on board, re­ports Anna White

Cross­rail 2, a high speed rail­way scheme con­nect­ing north and south Lon­don is the next stop in the jour­ney to make the cap­i­tal more ac­ces­si­ble to more peo­ple with shorter jour­ney times. De­spite protes­ta­tions from some res­i­dents in places such as Chelsea and Wim­ble­don, who op­pose the level of dis­rup­tion which ac­com­pa­nies ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture work, it’s gath­er­ing po­lit­i­cal sup­port. Mayor of Lon­don Boris John­son and MP Zac Gold­smith have claimed that the £27 bil­lion project will re­sult in 200,000 new homes and cre­ate 200,000 new jobs.

But when will the trans­port pro­gramme, which has not yet been given the green light, start to drive up house prices along the pro­posed line, and where will the smart money buy?

Although still two to three years away from com­ple­tion, its pre­de­ces­sor, Cross­rail (1) – now called the El­iz­a­beth Line and in­for­mally dubbed the Lizard – is al­ready es­ti­mated to have added £5.5 bil­lion to prop­erty val­ues along its route.

“House prices within 750m of sta­tions on the El­iz­a­beth Line have out­per­formed the wider Lo­cal Au­thor­ity mar­kets by an av­er­age of five per cent since the line was granted Royal As­sent in the sum­mer of 2008, de­spite the fact it will not open fully for another two to three years,” says Grainne Gil­more, head of res­i­den­tial re­search at Knight Frank.

“Some sta­tions have out­per­formed by as much as 40 per cent and val­ues have been boosted not only by the im­prove­ment in con­nec­tiv­ity which will be pro­vided by the line, but also in many cases re­gen­er­a­tion.”

These are all pos­i­tive signs for home­own­ers who live along the pro­posed Cross­rail 2 route, which is ex­pected to con­nect the Na­tional Rail net­works in Sur­rey and Hert­ford­shire via new tun­nels and sta­tions be­tween Wim­ble­don, Tot­ten­ham Hale and New South­gate. It will link up to the Lon­don Un­der­ground, Over­ground and Cross­rail 1.

Spec­u­la­tors of the se­quel are al­ready get­ting in on the ac­tion – or at least buy­ing into the noise and mo­men­tum that oc­curs be­fore a fi­nan­cial and po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment is made.

“Big in­fra­struc­ture re­quires cross party sup­port. Ul­ti­mately cen­tral

Cross­rail 2: the pro­posed route govern­ments span­ning more than one po­lit­i­cal life­time must reaf­firm ear­lier com­mit­ments made,” says Adam Chal­lis, head of res­i­den­tial re­search at JLL. “But rel­e­vant ar­eas will get an early up­lift from spec­u­la­tors well be­fore that 100 per cent guar­an­tee is given. Ac­tiv­ity is al­ready hap­pen­ing.”

Chal­lis is re­fer­ring to those pur­chas­ing land, that they will then sit on un­til the time is right to of­fer it to house­builders and de­vel­op­ers at a profit.

Buy-to-let in­vestors are also banking on mas­sive cap­i­tal ap­pre­ci­a­tion over the next few years, as the sound of lob­by­ing reaches a crescendo.

“We are smack in the mid­dle of phase one,” says Chal­lis. “These deals are be­ing done off the back of no­tional in­vest­ment. Even if Cross­rail 2 doesn’t

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