Saturday, 25 September 2021

Crossrail extension pushes house prices

Maidenhead was originally going to be the end of the Crossrail line, but now the route

Maidenhead was originally going to be the end of the Crossrail line, but now the route has been extended to Reading, the city is lobbying for city status (again!).

There is already a super-fast train service into Paddington taking less than 30 minutes, but since Reading is effectively the capital of the Thames Valley, it made sense to extend the Crossrail line to here.

The council in Reading says about 24,000 of the 150,000 residents travel to and from London daily, and that’s on top of the huge catchment of commuters from local villages and towns such as Henley.

With this in mind, Reading prices are predicted to grow by 50 per cent over the next six years. “M4 corridor areas are likely to be big winners,” says Johnny Morris, head of research at estate agent Hamptons International, which has a branch in Henley’s Hart Street.

“The new link is stimulating a wave of investment and boosting home buying activity in Reading.”

Which brings Standard Property to this stunning find on a leafy road, north of the M4 but south of the town centre.

Number 122 Shinfield Road is a spacious, detached 1930s house which has been home to two sisters, since they bought it between them five years ago.

And the commute? “There is a bus stop outside the house and it’s a ten-minute ride to Reading station, with its mainline and Crossrail hubs,” said Sara Batting, the estate agent dealing with the property.

“The vendors were looking for a way to get on to the property ladder so they pooled their resources. They were attracted to the character, location and size of the garden and had no idea about the Crossrail thing. They just knew it would be easy to get to the mainline station.”

Talk about buying in the right place, right timeâ?¦ What’s more, there are three double bedrooms and a modern family bathroom upstairs, two reception rooms, a drive and garage, and a newly fitted kitchen which overlooks a large, leafy garden.

Houses from the 1930s usually come with large plots and big rooms, and that’s most evident with this property. Other nice touches include bay windows, stained glass windows and tile-hung external walls.

“The house was built by local builders Cooks,” said Sara.

“Cooks built many quality homes in the university area. The houses have a unique quality and style. When the sisters first bought the house, it needed a bit of work, but the potential was huge.”

What followed was an improvement to the layout and a careful update the house generally.

“Where the kitchen/diner is now was formerly four rooms, included outhouses,” said Sara. “Today, the best bits have to be the sitting room, which has wooden  bi-folds to the garden, and the kitchen, which looks out on to a south-westerly patio. It’s such an inviting kitchen, and yet the vendors have made sure it’s got all the contemporary finishes.”

Upstairs, there is a bonus in the form of an office in a tucked-away spot on the landing. “Since the landing was larger than average, they decided to put one in as it really doesn’t get in the way but makes it possible to work from home,” said Sara.

Outside, the garden is lovely as well as being large, with trees, shrubs, flower beds and lawn. “There are also fruit trees and a macrokarpa tree,” said Sara, “which is particularly loved as it’s a cypress, but it’s evergreen so it adds some much needed green in winter.”

If the two sisters had stayed living in Shinfield Road, they say they would have liked to have done an extension [subject to planning permission].

“But that’s been left to the next owners,” said Sara. Standard Property thinks adding an ensuite bathroom to the master would be a good idea, as well as a fourth and even fifth bedroom.

Downstairs, the extension would mean you could link the sitting room with the kitchen to make a lovely open-plan space. Also, the original fireplaces are intact and walled up, but could easily be reinstated for a cosy fire in the sitting room.

At the front, the house has a paved driveway with parking for up to three cars as well as a single garage attached to the side.

“The vendors have enjoyed living at this house and love the area,” said Sara. “It’s time to be more independent and own separate homes, but the sisters will be staying local. This is a good residential area and it’s only a five-minute drive to the nearest M4 junction, which is number 11.”

Indeed, the advantage to living in this part of Reading is that it is easy to get to everywhere â?? schools, shops, work, you name it. “It takes only ten minutes to the Oracle shopping centre by bus,” said Sara. “Reading has everything â?? not just a Crossrail station!”

• 122 Shinfield Road is on the market with Reading-based estate agency Sara Batting at a guide price of £625,000. Call (0118) 9502341 for further information.

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