Commuter and commercial hotspots

New transport links hold the key to place improvement and potential large scale development.

25 February 2013, Words by Jim Ward

Which sites?

So which are the sites that are going to fill the gaps? It must now be Croydon’s time to arrive, as a new hub of activity and development. It has major potential to be delivering more housing at these more affordable price levels, as a commercial centre in its own right, alongside its ready access to expanding commercial centres at Victoria and London Bridge. Likewise, access to these centres will enhance residential market capacity at Bromley.

Closer to London Bridge, Deptford is well placed to deliver more. On a parallel theme further north, the emergence of Kings Cross as a commercial centre will increase market capacity at Hendon. These are some of the places where there is potential to unlock development at scale.

Transport improvement

New transport is the game changer for market capacity, as we are currently seeing in anticipation of Crossrail opening in 2018, plus the Northern Line extension at Nine Elms. Much is already priced in, but there is more potential market capacity to be unlocked around Crossrail, at all price points. There are many examples, including Farringdon, which will become a major central transport hub, and Southall, which has great potential for place improvement. The completion of the south east corner of the Overground orbital line is less of a transformational event, although the connectivity is a positive for market capacity. New transport to Barking Riverside would unlock capacity. Looking further ahead, Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2 (HS2) are still a long way off. But taking just one aspect, the prospect of a Crossrail to HS2 link at Old Oak Common is a mouth watering prospect for place improvement.

Investment and planning

We can start to see some of these changes happening, but there is further to go. We need public investment, private investment and planning policy to be aligned around these common themes, if the supply gaps are going to be filled, unlocking the market’s appetite for London residential property.


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