Higher Rents Expected in 2017

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Increased Demand and Reduced Supply Will Lead to Higher Rents Across Essex

Upgrades to local infrastructure and a booming property market mean that now is an ideal time to invest in property in the south east.

As the Crossrail project nears completion, residents and investors alike can expect to see Essex property prices soar over the coming years.

The new Elizabeth Line will become operational in 2018, and will provide vastly improved transport links to London, Heathrow and beyond. This will further increase property values that are already on an upward trajectory – one that has seen consistent growth over the past 20 years.

With demand outstripping supply and interest rates at a record low, there has never been a better time for investors to look to the opportunities available through rental agencies in Essex to develop a property portfolio that will bring the best possible return on their savings.

Increasing values and returns

County-wide, property prices have risen by around 70% over the past ten years, from £185,000 in 2006 to £315,000 today. The curve has become steeper over the past two years, over which time an increase of more than 30%, from £240,000, has been observed.

Over the past year, a slight slow down in the number of properties available on the market has pushed prices higher still. All of this has a knock-on effect on the rental market. Experts predict that rentals will exceed sales in 2017 for the first time since the 1930s.

Average monthly rentals are now well over £1,100, meaning that property investment really can generate serious income, while remaining one of the safest investment types around.

Crossrail

Crossrail comes at a perfect time for property investors in Essex. The 73-mile railway development links Shenfield and Brentwood with the City of London and Heathrow Airport.

On completion, the service will be named the Elizabeth line, and will pass through 40 stations, 10 of which will be newly constructed and the other 30 of which will have undergone significant renovation and remodelling.

Parts of the new line will become operational in 2018, and the eastern section, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield, will be connected to the central route through central London to Paddington in May 2019. It is one of Europe’s largest railway construction projects.

Both Brentwood and Shenfield already have good connections into London, with main line trains from Shenfield taking only 20 minutes to reach London Liverpool Street. However, the key benefit that Crossrail brings comes in the shape of direct links to points west, including Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and, most critically, Heathrow Airport.

The project will also introduce new rolling stock in the form of 66 new Class 345 trains that will enter service in May 2017. Manufactured by Bombardier Transportation in Derby, the 200 metre-long trains can each carry up to 1,500 passengers and have modern features that include walk-through carriages, air conditioning, CCTV and real-time travel information.

Uncertain times

There has been a distinct shortage of good news for investors and savers in 2016, with uncertain global conditions, Brexit, the bonds market and the pension crisis combining to bring one bad news story after another.

In these conditions, it is comforting to know that there is at least one piece of positive news for Essex investors as we go into the new year.