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Crossrail Towns – Reading
Last year’s decision to extend the western link of Crossrail beyond Maidenhead and onto Reading means that property prices in the town could be set for a big rise over the next few years.
Reading, 40 miles west of central London and close to junctions 10 and 11 of the M4, is already well connected to London. Fast trains to Paddington take less than half an hour (an annual season ticket costs around £4,000) but Crossrail will significantly reduce the onward journey times from Paddington to both central London and the financial centres in the Docklands area. It will also provide Reading with a direct rail link to Heathrow airport.
Reading also has high speed rail links to Swindon, Bristol, South Wales, Devon and Cornwall and cross country routes to Southampton, Oxford, Birmingham and the North West.
Its proximity to the M4, A34, A33 and M40 allows excellent road access to the south, west, midlands and of course London.
Reading is much more than a commuting town – it is a vibrant commercial hub fully justifying the title of capital of the Thames Valley.
Large corporations have based themselves there including Prudential, Oracle, BG Group, Microsoft, Regus, Websense and it is a centre for many other IT, high tech and financial services companies with others set to join.
Shopping in the town centre is superb with John Lewis, House of Fraser, Debenhams all operating flagship stores in and next to the Oracle Shopping centre set around the Kennett and Avon canal. There are numerous bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and an excellent concert venue that attracts the top stars.
The town makes the most of its Thames side setting with plenty of parks, gardens and riverside spaces and good walks and footpaths available either side of the river and canal and within the town itself.
Reading is blessed with a wide selection of high class schooling. There are two notable grammar schools in Kendrick for girls and The Reading School for boys and other top class schools include Prospect, Reading Girls’, Wren, and Abbey.
It also is also home to a highly regarded university.
Suburbs and surrounds
The town’s main suburbs — Woodley, Earley, Whitley, Tilehurst and Caversham have a wide variety of housing at varying prices. There is a good bus service operating in the area plus several park and ride schemes. Getting into and through Reading by car can be problematic during busy periods.
There are period houses and cottages in the surrounding Thames side villages including Sonning (now the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney), Pangbourne, Streatley and Goring.
Average prices for residential property in Reading
According to Zoopla average prices are as follows (but like anywhere there are significant variations from area to area)
One-bedroom flat: £172,000
Two-bedroom flat: £230,000
Two-bedroom house: £292,000
Three-bedroom house: £367,000
Four-bedroom house: £646,000
The rental market in Reading
Reading has an active rental market with many tenants coming from the numerous IT, telecoms and financial services employers.
Other professionals take advantage of the fine transport links which will improve still further when Crossrail starts in 2019.
Many parents have kept the homes they bought while their children were at university as rental investments.
Buy-to-let investors are currently achieving a rental yield of between four and six per cent.
According to Zoopla average rents are as follows (but again the amount of rent is influenced by the age, state and location of the property).
One-bedroom flat: £834 a month
Two-bedroom flat: £1,164 a month
Two-bedroom house: £1,077 a month
Three-bedroom house: £1,175 a month
Four-bedroom house: £1,483 a month
Town Centre and Station Area
Following the re-design and transformation of Reading’s station there were big regeneration plans for the immediately surrounding area.
Work has now started on the long-anticipated Station Hill development right opposite the station which will provide the largest mixed use development in the Thames Valley. On a three-and-a half acres site there will be 930,000sq feet of office space in five tower blocks, 150,000sq feet of shops and restaurants and 300 flats.
Other new property developments are currently progressing in the town centre close to the railway station or overlooking the canal.
Many are already fully reserved including a Bewley Homes development on Bath Road of 74 flats and houses and Garrard House on Station Road another office-to-residential development of 83 1 and 2 bedroom flats by Titan Property Developments.
Reading has a number of plus points as a place to invest in property. A strong infrastructure with significant redevelopment projects underway, excellent road and rail links, a station on the new Crossrail link, a buoyant local economy, many existing high tech and financial sector employers with more to come plus excellent schools and a vibrant university.
Property prices look like they still have some way to go whilst the rental market also looks set to rise as more businesses are attracted to the town and more commuters look to take advantage of the quicker journey times to central London and areas such as Canary Wharf.
If you have any comments on any of the above or would like more information about finding a property please get in touch via our website thehomecloud.xenacia.com or via our property investment arm Source Property Investments.