When Catriona Hannon, now 32, moved to the area with her six-year-old son Caspar in 2014, it was not entirely enthusiastically. She had been based in Chiswick and moved to Acton as it was better value, with one-bedroom flats renting for about £1,200pcm.
“I have really come full circle,” says Hannon. “Now I can’t imagine leaving.”
She loves the area’s independent spirit and strong sense of community, citing Churchfield Road as a hotspot for independent shops and restaurants. “There is a great art gallery, JG Contemporary, which really champions local artists,” she says.
“We go to the Station House pub, which is family run and really fun.” Hannon has her own catering company, Cat Rose Cooks, and appreciates the street’s range of food shops.
Across Acton, Crossrail has brought investment in new housing, notably the £800 million rebirth of the South Acton Estate into the 3,300-home Acton Gardens, and One Housing Group’s redevelopment of the Old Town Hall into flats in 2018.
Crossrail journey times
Acton to Heathrow: from 21 minutes
Acton to Paddington: 9 minutes
Acton to Tottenham Court Road: 22 minutes
*Timings include extra time for interchanges at Liverpool Street (10 minutes) and Paddington (8 minutes). Necessary until May 2023
Acton has now started to attract buyers priced out of trendier west London neighbourhoods. When the line is fully operational, the journey times (just over a quarter of an hour to the City, less than 10 minutes to the West End) are certainly impressive.
House-price growth across the western section of the line has been lower than the east over the past decade — possibly as prices here started out higher.
But Acton has seen a healthy nine per cent rise since the start of the pandemic. Sal Hussain, sales manager of Marsh & Parsons, says he’s seen a ripple of new buyers coming in from west London neighbourhoods.
House prices in Acton
Average prices since work on Crossrail started
Growth: 59 per cent
Not that Acton is a cheap option. Its alpha location is Poets Corner, where buyers would expect to pay £1.2 million to £1.25 million for a three-bedroom Victorian semi.
Prices are a little lower elsewhere in the area, but you would still struggle to get much change out of £1 million for a three-bedroom house. Two-bedroom flats, says Hussain, trade at about £550,000 to £650,000.
For renters, a two-bedroom flat would cost about £1,700pcm.
“I think there is a lot of room for price growth in Acton,” says Hussain. “Everyone who can’t afford Shepherd’s Bush, Chiswick and Brook Green is spilling over into Acton.”
On the horizon for Acton
More than 1,700 new homes have been built at Acton Gardens, with another 378 under construction. Currently on offer are shared ownership homes priced from £133,125 for a 25 per cent share of a two-bedroom flat.
Completing the project will take until 2029 and will include communal gardens, a sports ground, schools, a medical centre and play parks.
Work has started on a reboot of another Acton estate, Friary Park. When complete in 2029, it will add almost 1,000 new homes to the local mix, plus an outdoor gym, running track, climbing wall, shops and cafes.
Last year, Transport for London was granted planning permission to build more than 850 new homes on Bollo Lane, by Acton Town station. Work is due to start by the end of this year.