Reading is a traditional commuter belt town with its own local economy. Major international companies are headquartered here, including technology giant Microsoft and pharmaceutical company Bayer.
There is a large shopping and leisure centre, the Oracle, on the banks of the River Kennet, and just two miles out you can buy in rural riverside communities such as Henley or Sonning-on-Thames (George Clooney has recently moved here).
When it was announced that Crossrail would run from Reading, we saw prices increase by circa 35 per cent in the first 18 months. It has also been a first-time buyer hotspot as developers build more houses and flats aimed at this market.
The £14.8 billion Crossrail project is currently Europe’s largest infrastructure project and will run from Reading in the west, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The project is building 10 new stations and upgrading 30 more, while integrating new and existing infrastructure.
From December 2019, two Elizabeth line trains an hour (four an hour at peak times) will allow passengers to travel straight from Reading, right through central London without having to change trains. A journey from Reading to Heathrow Central will take only 38 minuets whilst a journey to Canary Wharf Station will be only 1 hour 8 minuets and to Shenfield, which is the last stop right across central London and into Essex, will be 1 hour 43 minuets.
Reading’s house price rise compared to the average of 22% on the Great Western Mainline since 2014 is nearly double the average rate of growth seen across the South East as a whole.