Elizabeth line launch: The cheapest places to buy a house or a flat along the Crossrail route

The Elizabeth line launches today, to the joy of commuters, business and home-owners who have spent years eagerly anticipating the completion of Project Crossrail with its promise of new, fast connections from eastern and western neighbourhoods to central London stations.

While the Crossrail effect — the term for micro property price booms near Elizabeth line stations — has led some Crossrail areas to see vast 10-year price growth, other Crossrail locations are now in the spotlight for having average house prices still well below the £500,000 mark.

The price of a London home is now £523,666 on average according to the Office of National Statistics, so those looking to buy a home now that the train service is finally up and running — almost four years behind schedule — could do worse than to look at the cheapest areas on the route map.

Of course some areas around the line’s 41 stations have seen far more investment than others: south-east London’s Woolwich has had billions spent on new homes builds with more developments on the horizon, while Seven Kings in east London hasn’t seen much more change than a station upgrade.

The cheapest areas are all on the east and south-east London sections of the Elizabeth line, with average houses under £500,000 and flats under £250,000. Here’s where to start your search.

Abbey Wood, south-east London

The cheapest place to buy a house along the Elizabeth line is Abbey Wood in south-east London where prices are £388,410. It’s also is the fifth cheapest Crossrail location to buy a flat with prices £249,660 on average.

Table: the cheapest Crossrail locations by average house price

London area

Average house price

Abbey Wood

£388,410

Chadwell Heath

£414,750

Woolwich

£438,380

Hayes and Harlington

£442.534

Custom House

£453,900

Seven Kings

£497,440

Abbey Wood has seen some of the strongest price growth along the Crossrail line over the past decade. Part of the reason prices are growing is that redevelopment of Thamesmead has begun. Housing association Peabody, which owns the bulk of the estate, is spending more than £1 billion on transforming the estate into a thriving new neighbourhood.

Project Thamesmead is very much in its infancy. By 2050 it is envisaged that it will contain around 20,000 modern homes surrounded by some 600 acres of open space, five lakes, and more than five miles of canals.

Chadwell Heath, east London

The second cheapest place to buy a house on Crossrail is Chadwell Heath, on the eastern section of the line, where houses cost £414,750 on average. This east London outpost is the cheapest place to buy a flat across the Crossrail network with average prices at £214,120.

Barking and Dagenham Council remains optimistic that Crossrail will bring investment into Chadwell Heath. Last year it commissioned architects to draw up redevelopment plans for the whole area, featuring more than 4,000 new homes, shops and restaurants, modern schools, and open spaces.

© Provided by Evening Standard Homes & Property A CGI of the Chadwell Heath redevelopment plans. A developer would need to buy into the idea before plans progress any futher (Barking & Dagenham council)

But its proposals won’t be translated into reality until a developer with deep pockets buys into the idea and provides the necessary cash.

Table: the cheapest Crossrail locations by average flat price

London area

Average flat price

Chadwell Heath

£214,120

Ilford

£225,990

Seven Kings

£236,850

Goodmayes

£243,390

Abbey Wood

£249,660

Plans to redevelop the tatty Chadwell Heath Baptist Church and convert part of it into flats, were approved last year. And The White Horse, a fire damaged and semi-derelict pub currently blighting the high road, could also be rebuilt with new homes around it.

Woolwich, south-east London

Woolwich is third on the list of cheapest places to buy a house (average prices are £438,380) but doesn’t appear in the top five cheapest places to buy a flat. Largely due to the thousands of new homes, mainly apartments, in the area.

Woolwich Arsenal, the historic riverfront military site, is being redeveloped into Berkeley Homes’ £1.2 billion Royal Arsenal Riverside development.

Planning permission for this monster 5,000-home scheme was granted for the project back in 2006. Since then 3,500 new homes have been completed, and the whole site is dotted with places to eat and drink like Boulangerie Jade, bringing a touch of Parisian café style to south east London, SALT Woolwich, for superior pizzas and beers, and new pubs like Guard House.

There is a regular farmers market at Major Draper Street, a four acre park, and Woolwich Works, a newly-opened arts centre.

Prices are over the area average, at £502,000 for a one-bedroom flat up to £732,500 for a three-bedroom flat, but further inland prices drop dramatically.

© Provided by Evening Standard Homes & Property Woolwich Arsenal, the historic military site, is being redeveloped into the £1.2bn Royal Arsenal Riverside (Daniel Lynch)

Custom House, south-east London

Fifth on the list of cheapest places to buy a house is Custom House (£453,900). Crossrail will transform the area’s transport options, currently limited to a stop on the Docklands Light Railway and a river bus.

But the real beneficiary of this new Crossrail station will be the Royal Docks, just to the south, which are shaping up as one of the most exciting regeneration projects in London.

As the regeneration continues more venues will pop up, along with public squares and gardens, and it is envisaged that the docks will be lined by waterfront bars, restaurants, public squares and gardens. There will also be new offices, sports facilities, and brand new schools.

Seven Kings, east London

Buying a house in east London’s Seven Kings will cost £497,440 on average, making the area the sixth cheapest Crossrail spot for houses, whereas a flat will cost around £236,850 — the line’s third cheapest place to buy an apartment.

There have been no big-bang housing developments, no trendy artisanal cafes, no new arts venues. Perhaps because — unlike other stops along the line — there weren’t acres of unloved industrial land to build on, and nothing terribly wrong with this pleasant and family friendly suburb to start off with.

The planning pipeline for the area is pretty threadbare although Redbridge Council is backing plans to redevelop a council owned car park on the high road into just over 200 flats plus some form of health centre. There is, as yet, no start date for the work.

There are a few streets of Victorian houses, around Meads Lane, although these are rarely available and are snapped up quickly. Overall, prices have increased by just over five per cent in the past two years.

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