Even if that is the case, the more affordable prices make it an solid investment prospect. Becky Munday, of Munday’s Estate Agents, said: “Catford draws upsizers and second-steppers seeking value. Think of it as one postcode further than Forest Hill, and it becomes very accessible. Schools are good, especially the primaries, and Catford has a leafy feel off the main roads.”
Prices towards Forest Hill are higher, with sought-after pockets such as the Culverley Green Conservation area where three-bedroom Edwardian houses can reach £1.3m and two-bedroom garden flats £450,000.
Look south for value, advised Ronke Maye of agent KFH. “Ex local authority houses cost £375,000 to £450,000 around Bellingham Road. This area offers potential.”
In the last 10 years, property prices in Hayes have soared by 73pc due to its position on Crossrail, as speculators and developers muscled into the area. It has spurred a number of regeneration projects including improvements to the town centre and the Old Vinyl Factory, a new neighbourhood on the site of the 18-acre EMI record plant.
Already only 15 minutes from Paddington, Hayes & Harlington will eventually enjoy faster links into the West End and City on the Elizabeth Line. Proximity to the M4, Heathrow and M25 also make it hard to beat for transport links.
This is the only location on Crossrail which has made the list of areas with “hidden value” because prices are still relatively low. The average property price is still only £397,898, which can nearly buy you a three-bedroom semi detached home. Rental values are forecast to grow by 18pc over the next five years, according to agent Strutt & Parker, boosted by large local businesses including GSK, Sky and Apple.
Just 10 minutes from Crossrail’s Heathrow Airport stop, Hounslow is not on the new line but the benefits, and price rises, are echoed into the area. With an average asking price of £428,809, prices in Hounslow are less than half the price of other similarly-connected west London neighbourhoods. Prices are up 8pc in five years and the improvement of the high street, with a new 10-screen Cineworld, will help attract new buyers.
IT worker Kam Waghela bought a one-bedroom apartment off-plan in central Hounslow, drawn by the high yields. “This area is great for rentals. I have a couple who moved in this year, and I am expecting yields of 7-8pc.”