Crossrail guide to Gidea Park: average house prices, new homes and Elizabeth Line journey times to central London

Gidea Park station  (Alamy Stock Photo)
Gidea Park station (Alamy Stock Photo)

Gidea Park is Romford’s grown up older sister, an affluent neighbourhood of cottagey houses on leafy streets which was developed in the early 20th century along the same lines as the infinitely more expensive Hampstead Garden suburb.

First impressions around the station itself aren’t fabulous. There’s no big fancy new Crossrail station, and a drearily suburban feel.

But dig deeper and you will find first rate property stock, plentiful green space, and a burgeoning foodie scene.

Love brought Matthew Redgrave, 34, to Gidea Park. He moved to the area in 2017, to be with his wife, Lauren, 33, who was born and raised locally. The couple now have a daughter, Maeve, one.

A school PE teacher by trade Matt set up a side gig, Ped’s Pizza, in 2017, serving Neapolitan style pizza at weddings and markets. By 2019, with appalling timing, the business was going well enough for Matthew to quit teaching and work on his business full time.

“Then the pandemic happened, and I had to change the business plan,” said Matt. “I started doing deliveries, and it went mad.”

Crossrail journey times:

Gidea Park to Canary Wharf: 58 minutes (including interchange at Liverpool Street)

Gidea Park to Liverpool Street: 32 minutes

Gidea Park to Paddington: 66 minutes (including interchange at Liverpool Street)

He thinks Gidea Park is a great place to raise a family. “I am a big fan. Raphael’s Park is beautiful – if it was in Hackney people would be going mad about it, and there are some interesting new cafes and restaurants coming up. There are beautiful houses, on lovely streets, and really good transport links. It has got a lot going for it.”

Over the past couple of years Charlie King, branch manager of Balgores estate agents, has had a busy time of it. Homes habitually attract up to 20 viewings the instant they come onto the market, while rental properties are snapped up within 48 hours.

While you could pay seven figures for a house on the Exhibition Estate, the core of Gidea Park’s garden suburb streets, you could, he said, pick up a three-bedroom house from around £500,000. A two-bedroom flat would cost around £300,000 to £350,000.

Renters should budget anywhere between £1,700pcm to £2,000pcm for a three-bedroom house, or £1,300 to £1,400 for a flat.

“We get a lot of people moving in from east London,” said King. “They come from Ilford, Barking, Stratford, and often they are first time buyers.”

Average sale prices have increased by a modest three per cent in the las two years, according to Hamptons. King believes that as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, and interest rates continue to rise, the market in Gidea Park and, indeed, the whole of London could slow down. “It could come down, by two to five per cent, over the next couple of years,” he said

Average house prices since work on Crossrail started

2012: £310,520

2022: £488,510

Growth: 57 per cent

Source: Hamptons

The future for Gidea Park

There’s not been much action on the new homes front in Gidea Park during the Crossrail building project, and nothing much in the building pipeline.

But change is afoot in Gidea Park. It’s starting to develop an authentic café culture.

Ped’s Pizza opened its first pizzeria, on Main Road, in May, closely following the opening of the outpost of the Brick Lane Bagel Co in March.

Meanwhile chef Megha Kochhar Arora has taken over the cafe in Raphael’s Park, now named Raphael’s By Crem Kitchen. Megha, 37, who has worked in Michelin starred restaurants The Ledbury, in Notting Hill, and Jaan, in Singapore, and is serving up meals a far cry from regular park café basics: think beef bone marrow burger, chicken and marrow dim sum, or a grazer board of cheese, charcuterie, and fruit.

There’s also an organic supermarket, Olive Well, on Main Street, which opened last year where you can pick up organic produce, vegan cake, or grab a coffee at its café. You could sample a brew at the Gidea Park Microbrewery, which is on the same stretch of road, or, weather permitting, find an outside table at the Ship Inn and sample the extensive gin menu.