Senior property executives expressed anger and frustration today at the delay in the opening of Crossrail, as it emerged the postponement of the new line could result in substantial house price falls along its route.
Emoov research carried out for City A.M. suggests property values could sink as much as £10,000 in the short-term, with hopes that cooling house prices would bounce back in the wake of the Elizabeth Line's opening now being put on hold.
With the £15bn project’s launch pushed back from December this year to autumn 2019, commercial developers within London’s West End are also worried that an eagerly-awaited bump in retail footfall will come nine months later than expected.
"We were massively disappointed when we found this out. For our retail side it is probably far more damaging, as a lot of their business models were based on new customers coming in. It’s tough enough for these guys at the moment being squeezed by business rates," said Jace Tyrrell, whose firm New West End represents retail giants along Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
He added: "We’ve known for some time there would be issues with opening but never to this impact. The message this sends about our capability of developing massive infrastructure projects in a post-Brexit world we need to be clear that when we commit to these projects we need time on time and on budget."
Developers have been pouring money into Crossrail hotspots in anticipation of the new line's arrival, as the mammoth infrastructure project is expected to help ease London's congestion and lure more consumers into the capital.
Last week Ireland’s largest hotel group Dalata unveiled plans for a £91m new site in Aldgate, with deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley saying that the transport links were a large factor in the company’s movement to the area.
However, today Crowley told City A.M. that while the delay does not change the investment decision, "it is frustrating when something like this gets delayed. You’re told one day that it’ll be ready in three months time, and you find out the next day it is 12 months time."
Commenting on the property industry’s reaction to the new delays, Savills’ head of City agency Josh Lamb reinforced Crowley’s sentiment, saying that the main feeling was one of "frustration".
Lamb added: "Properties around Crossrail areas are expected to see their next stage of growth when actual staff move in, but that has now been delayed. Yet while developers and agents all share this frustration that this ground-breaking piece of infrastructure is delayed, it is still coming, and it will still be built. Given the delay between developers opening up and occupiers moving in, nine months is still pretty small fry."