Crossrail guide to Ealing Broadway: house prices, new homes, journey times
But since the Elizabeth Line was born billions of pounds have been thrown at W5, bringing new homes and upgrading its range of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Laura Neads, now 35, moved to Ealing Broadway from Streatham back in 2015. “I loved the area because it is just so green,” she said. “I am from the west country and it felt a bit like home. I loved the vibe and the pubs and the parks.”
The pandemic has been life changing for Laura. After a career as an illustrator and print designer she set up her own business, The Wallflower Studio, selling handmade cards, prints, and accessories, and also works part time at The Curated Collective, a shop in the Ealing Broadway Centre, which sells homewares and fashion by local makers.
Change was already afoot back when Laura arrived in Ealing.
Dickens Yard, a development of around 700 homes, had launched in 2011 and was completed just before the pandemic.
As well as shattering local price ceilings Dickens Yard has significantly upped the ante on Ealing Broadway with yoga studios, an arts studio, cafes like Ginger & Moore and Artisan Coffee School, plus upscale chains (outposts of Gail’s Bakery, BrewDog and Franco Manca).
Currently under construction developments include Filmworks, a new “lifestyle quarter”, on the site of the Grade II listed Forum Theatre. As well as just over 200 homes the site will have space for a Picturehouse cinema and a café-lined piazza.
For a mix of culture and open space there is the recently renovated Grade I listed Pitzhanger Manor, the former home of renowned British architect Sir John Soane and now an art gallery. Laura and her partner, Henry Lawry, 30, a musician and trainee therapist, love it so much that they are getting married there next summer.
The manor sits within Walpole Park, a beautifully landscaped original parkland which is one of the finest green spaces in Ealing and includes the serpentine lake, a walled kitchen garden and a pond with fountains.
On the east side of the park you will find Pitzhanger Village, a cluster of cafes and restaurants including The Grove gastropub and Park’s Kitchen (Korean), plus new arrivals like Italian restaurant and cocktail bar Meadow, and Vietnamese dining room TânVân.
Meanwhile, on the High Street, Gordon Ramsay opened the Bread Street Café last summer.
Laura’s favourite spots are The Red Lion (St Mary’s Road) and the Drayton Court Hotel (in West Ealing) which she rates for their lovely gardens. Her only gripe is that the stretch of the Broadway right outside the station has an unloved feel. “It doesn’t give the best first impression,” she said.
Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham & Reeves, believes Ealing Broadway has been Crossrail’s biggest success story.
“It was so ripe for it – you had that diabolical high street, and a station which had not been touched for years. It was just horrible. The regeneration has brought in all these lovely cafes and shops, and it looks totally different.”
Price wise you would now need to budget £800,000 to £900,000 to buy a three bedroom terrace in Ealing, or £650,000-plus for a flat (new homes would be more like £850,000). Renters also need deep pockets. A two bedroom flat would cost around £2,500pw.
Buyers, said von Grundherr, include Japanese families attracted by the local Japanese school, and increasingly “corporate and techie professionals” who have realised they will be able to get to the City quickly and easily on Crossrail, as well as out to Heathrow.
Despite this, Ealing Broadway has not had a good pandemic. Over the past two years prices have slipped back by 3.4 per cent. Von Grundherr suspects this is because prices “went bonkers” between 2011 and 2019, thanks to a combination of Crossrail and the smart new build homes for sale. Delays in Crossrail plus less buyer interest in flats then slowed down interest in the area.
But he is confident that when the line finally launches buyers will return with a vengeance. “Everyone wants to see the trains actually running,” he said. “When that happens, I think you will see a push in prices again.”
The future for Ealing Broadway
Developer British Land, which owns the Ealing Broadway shopping centre and office complex, is the biggest landowner in Ealing. It has already renovated parts of centre and has planning permission to replace the former LA Confidential and Karma nightclub with a new “cultural venue” In 2017 it bought up 10-40, The Broadway, and has hired the blue chip architects Stanton Williams to upgrade the area with better shops, new offices, and cultural facilities, linking the shopping centre to the station. Last month/March 2022 it began consulting on its early plans.
Next door to Dickens Yard there are plans to rebuild the ugly 80s Perceval House. In 2019 developer Galliford Try Partnerships signed a £275m agreement with the council, which owns the building, to replace it with 470 new homes in buildings up to 26 stories tall, of which half will be affordable and aimed at buyers currently priced out of Ealing Broadway.
Despite heated local objections to the height of the new development planning permission was granted last spring.