Crossrail guide to Ilford: average house prices and Elizabeth line journey times

What it lacks in architectural charm it makes up for in practicality, and its affordable property prices and plentiful open space are drawing buyers out of more expensive parts of east London.

Crossrail has started to make a mark on this somewhat scruffy postcode — new homes have been built, more are planned, and although the High Road is dominated by low rent chain stores Ilford Lane is lined with fabulous sari stores and some outstanding Indian restaurants.

The most obvious change in the area so far is the addition of a bona fide skyscraper, the 33-storey Pioneer Point, a build to rent development (one-bedroom flats available from £1,410pcm).

In addition, there have been efforts to make the whole place feel a bit more interesting. Last year street artists Dotmaster and Ben Eine unveiled two giant murals on Janice Mews and Kenneth More Road, bringing a much needed dash of colour to the town centre.

In 2019, a complex of 35 studios for artists, makers, and creative businesses, operated by Space Studios, opened in the town hall.

Rai McLaren, 42, lives in Ilford with his wife, Shireen Ali-Khan, 39, and their three-year-old son Rayaan.

“It is a very dynamic location, very vibrant, with lots of people from different cultures from around the world,” he said.

Crossrail journey times

Ilford to Tottenham Court Road: 32 minutes

Paddington: 37 minutes

Heathrow: From 60 to 73 minutes

Timings include ten minutes for interchange at Liverpool Street, eight minutes for interchange at Paddington, in force until 2023

Rai, a photographer (, was brought up in Wanstead, and Shireen, who works as a consultant for infrastructure projects, is Ilford born and bred. The couple live in a three bedroom terrace which Shireen already owned.

Ilford is known for its multitude of Indian restaurants — as a starting point Rai recommends Asiatique on the High Road and Kebabish Original on the High Street.

New cafes have also started to appear, alongside the chains, like Perky Blinders on Cranbrook Road.

Jeff Vegden, branch manager of William H Brown estate agents, estimates that buyers could pick up a three bedroom terrace in Ilford for around £450,000 to £475,000. A two bedroom purpose built flat would cost £350,000 to £400,000.

Average house prices since work on Crossrail started

2012: £242,96

2022: £413,370

Growth: 70 per cent

Source: Hamptons

“We see a lot of movement from central east London,” he said. “People come from Bow, from Poplar, because Ilford is the first suburban area that is relatively affordable. They can get more space, in a decent area which has a lot going on.”

Renters should budget around £1,700pcm for a three bedroom house or around £1,250pcm for a two bedroom flat. “They come from literally everywhere, west London, north London,” said Vegden. “They can save a couple of hundred pounds a month, and still have the same journey time into Liverpool Street. They are basically price chasers.”

The future for Ilford

It has been one of the highlights of the regeneration of Elephant & Castle and now street food and bar market Mercato Metropolitan is coming to Essex. Work has started on Mercato Ilford, transforming Ilford Town Hall’s car park into a sustainable covered food market.

A whole series of mid-sized new housing developments are also on the horizon as Redbridge Council seeks to build 6,000 new homes by 2030.

Telford Homes plans to redevelop a Sainsbury’s supermarket with more than 1,000 new homes to buy and rent on Roden Street. Work is expected to start on the site next spring, said a spokeswoman.

Proposed redevelopment plans could see thousands of new homes built in Ilford

/ Telford Homes

And last summer another housebuilder, Montreaux Ilford Developments, was granted planning permission to replace Ilford Retail Park with a 29 storey block of more than 600 flats plus a new primary school. Recent developments suggest that similar projects could be in the works in the near future.

At the start of this year, Galliard Homes bought a hotel site on Redbridge Lane East, and Redbridge Council is still hunting for a developer to regenerate the “western gateway” area, between Ilford Hill and the station, which it thinks could include up to 900 more homes.

As part of the plan the hated Ilford gyratory system will be swept away and replaced with streets lined with shops and restaurants.

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