Hornchurch to benefit from opening of Crossrail
The opening of Crossrail is set to bring a number of benefits to the Essex town of Hornchurch – not least, a rise in property values.
Crossrail, one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects, is due to be introduced later this year. Running through the centre of London, from Reading in the West to Shenfield in the East, the development is set to bring more than 1.5m people within a 45-minute commute of London.
One area set to benefit from this new infrastructure development is the town of Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering. While Hornchurch itself will not have a Crossrail station, the nearby stations of Romford, Gidea Park and Harold Wood will all form part of Crossrail’s Eastern Section. New trains are being introduced between Shenfield and Liverpool Street from May of this year, but the Crossrail route will fully open in December 2019, enabling passengers to travel through central London without having to change trains.
So, what can Hornchurch residents expect from Crossrail?
Shorter commuting times
The key objectives of the Crossrail project are to increase network capacity and significantly reduce journey times into the city. From December 2019, trains into central London will run more regularly, with 12 operating per hour during peak times, and passengers will be able to travel from Romford to Liverpool Street in just 27 minutes, from Gidea Park in 29 minutes, and from Harold Wood in just over half an hour.
Stations on the Crossrail route will also benefit from a planned programme of upgrades and improvements, including new lifts, extended platforms, improved ticket halls, better security measures, and new signage, information screens and customer help points. As well as these planned upgrades to the stations themselves, the proposals also include the creation of landscaped areas, improved integration with other public transport services, and, in the case of Romford, regeneration of the town centre and historic market place. In total, the London Borough of Havering is expected to reap total annual transport and economic benefits of over £43 million.
As well as the obvious benefits of shorter commuting times and station upgrades, estate agents in Hornchurch are also viewing the development as a great investment opportunity. Thanks to its good transport links into London, Hornchurch and its surrounding areas are already hugely popular with commuters. This popularity is only set to increase with the arrival of Crossrail and, as the demand for property increases, so will house prices.
Despite the route not yet being in operation, the so-called ‘Crossrail effect’ is already having an impact, with areas along the route reporting a surge in interest and in property prices. Asking prices for homes near Crossrail stations have increased by up to a third in the past 18 months, and experts predict that, on some sections of the line, they could increase by almost 45% by 2020.
In the past year alone, average house prices in Hornchurch reached £406,218 – a rise of 28% on 2014 prices. And with further significant value increases expected between now and the official launch of Crossrail, this vibrant Essex commuter town could offer fantastic investment opportunities for home buyers and property developers alike.