With Crossrail – London’s latest and biggest infrastructure project – set to transform areas that lie in its path, a savvy investor or city buyer would do well to look at the nearby Pinks Mews development
Full steam ahead
News last month that the final piece of Crossrail track had been laid was a big moment for a big London project. Initiated in 2007 and due to complete in 2019, the new billion-pound rail service – officially named the Elizabeth Line – is due to cut right across the capital, running from Reading in the South East to Shenfield in the North West. The line’s sheer scale makes the current tube network look thoroughly provincial and outdated, leading many commentators to suspect there may be many more iterations of Crossrail in the pipeline, efficiently linking evermore M25 beltway towns to Central London.
So as the age of Crossrail dawns, what effects will this brave new age of transit have on a capital whose infrastructure so often seems stuck in the twentieth century? Yes, it could rejuvenate many tired towns along the line that fall awkwardly between London and the regions and, as a result, get overlooked by business and Government. Yes, it will likely drive more traffic to Heathrow Airport, given that the new line can whizz travellers from Canary Wharf to Heathrow in under 20 minutes. Will this expedite plans for a new third runway at Heathrow? Probably. And, yes, it will hopefully reduce London’s still-too-high dependence on motor vehicles to get across the capital.
On track for growth
Crossrail’s biggest impact, however, will be in the parts of Central London it serves: the part that runs from Paddington to Whitechapel. This stretch of the capital will find itself energised by the new line. For the money men who work around Whitechapel or the PR gurus spinning near Farringdon or the investment bankers of Bond Street, many of whom live out in the leafy suburbs and find themselves pressed by the current tube network into starting home at around half ten, Crossrail changes everything. They are less constrained, able to work – and play – later without worrying about getting a taxi home. The impact on the bars, restaurants and entertainment spaces in the area could be enormous. Could this patch of land become the UK’s answer to New York: The City That Never Sleeps?
Of course, accompanying this potentially massive cultural shift will likely come an equivalent uptick in house prices. Recent forecasts have stated that houses prices along the line could continue to increase by 3.3% per year above local house price growth until the route’s launch in 2018/19 – resulting in an average price increase of £133,000 between now and when the first trains run. The value premium enjoyed by the Paddington-Farringdon-Whitechapel crescent could be even higher.
Investors looking at where to buy next, therefore, could do worse than consider this pivotal point of the Crossrail Line. The strategy is tantalisingly simple: buy now, wait for the line to get up and running, and either sell on a strong return or rent with a healthy yield.
From mews to mainline in 5
But where to buy? New developments have sprung up all along the central part of the line, many trading on little more than their location and priced very highly. The risk is they offer nothing special to investors and, worse still, may have already hit their price ceiling.
Pinks Mews, on the other hand, is not such a development. A five-minute walk from Crossrail’s Farringdon Station and just off High Holborn, this secluded 35-unit mews development oozes charm and character. One of the only new-build mews schemes in the area, the building has been constructed on the foundations of a sixteenth-century dyers building – famed for dying the coats of hunters – offering any resident an enviable slice of history.
However, living at Pinks is by no means medieval. Luxury oak and hand-crafted joinery grace the living areas, while walk-in showers and floor-to-ceiling marble is included in the bathrooms. All residents will also benefit from a 24-hour concierge, doing everything from laundry services to theatre ticket booking – it could even book the ticket for your next Crossrail journey.
With this combination of modern, high-grade living and unique historicity – plus its enviable location to Farringdon Station – the investment potential is enormous. But, more than that, it’s also extremely handy for someone looking for a London pied-a-terre who regularly commutes in and out of – and within – London. With the development primed to launch soon, a wise buyer would hop on board and book a seat now to avoid disappointment.