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As the London Tube turned 150 years old this month we saw the first physical signs of one of the largest infrastructure projects the UK has ever taken on. London is beginning to witness evidence of the latest advance in transport connections, Crossrail. Crossrail is the latest major transport link to be developed in the South East of England. As expectations start to rise, Londoners are getting their first glimpses of the Crossrail works emerging out of the ground in London. Crossrail will link Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Essex and Kent together, allowing for speedy and frequent train journeys.
This will impact upon the property market greatly. Crossrail will help stimulate investment; affecting both the commercial and residential aspects. It is believed that Crossrail will add £5.5 billion value to property within England in the next five years: as these transport connections significantly improve, the residential sector will see house prices increase vastly as the new train line allows commuters to live further afield while remaining within a quick train journey of the centre of London.
Secondly, the commercial property market is expected to profit hugely from the introduction of Crossrail. Farringdon station has been earmarked as one of the major stations for the new rail link. With the rising office rents in nearby Shoreditch and the increasing office rents in Clerkenwell, the area surrounding Farringdon station is clearly already extremely popular. With the imminent inclusion of the Crossrail, office rents should increase even further with people viewing the area as a far more attractive place to live and work.
At present, costs for offices in Clerkenwell are being driven up due to the demand from media-type firms seeking cheaper rents and rates on their office space. Traditionally media companies have been based in Soho, but as rents there have increased, in conjunction with extremely high business rates, businesses have been forced further east towards Shoreditch and Clerkenwell. With Crossrail in the vicinity, rents will become pushed up further as the area becomes far better connected, not only to Central London but also to the City, Canary Wharf and farther afield.
Senior agent Tom Lax, at Morgan Pryce, believes the introduction of Crossrail will have a bigger impact on more than just office rents: “The introduction of Crossrail will lead to less congested trains and tubes and will allow people to travel straight to their place of work without having to bypass stations such as Paddington and Waterloo.” This will mean commuters will be happier to be located in areas that historically have not been as attractive to work in or were more difficult to get to.
So as we enter 2013 the first signs of the new Crossrail lines start to take shape. The full impact of this new transport connection is still unclear but it is safe to say the impact will be felt across all of London
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.