Southfields offers better value for money than other leafy parts of south-west London, like Wimbledon and Fulham, making it a good choice for first-time buyers
One of the last areas of south-west London to become residential (it was still green fields in the latter part of the 19th century), and for a long time a working class district, Southfields has really come into its own over the past few years, becoming increasingly gentrified and sought after by buyers and tenants alike.
‘Over the years, demand to live in Southfields has increased, especially from buyers looking for more for their money,’ comments Maddie Miller of Douglas & Gordon, ‘it has become a well-established area in its own right’.
Jennifer Young-Thompson of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward concurs. ‘Over the last five years, Southfields has become a destination and not a second choice for buyers,’ she says. ‘Previously, buyers would stretch their search from more expensive neighbouring areas such as Putney and Wimbledon to what was seen as a less desirable but cheaper area and that was usually Southfields.
‘It has developed into a strong, community-led area and the high street not only offers more variety but has well-known names such as Starbucks and Sainsbury’s along with smaller, independent shops and restaurants.’
Southfields has that winning combination of local amenities that appeal to both the family market and young professionals – namely, attractive period homes (mainly Edwardian and Victorian, often with large gardens) as well as modern flats, green spaces (Wimbledon Park and Common), good schools, independent shops and easy transport links into London (Southfields is on the District Line and Earlsfield overland station is close by), plus that all-important village atmosphere. What’s more, prices are more affordable than nearby areas such as Fulham, Clapham, Wimbledon, Putney and Battersea,
‘The market continues to grow thanks to activity from the young family, investor and young professional market,’ says Sharon Byrne of John D Wood.
When it comes to where to buy or rent, the area known as the ‘Grid’ is the popular choice, running south from Replingham Road to Revelstoke Road.
‘Houses here can reach approximately £625-£650 per square foot’, says Maddie Miller. ‘Prime Southfields prices have risen by 20% over the past 12-18 months and the fully extended Grid houses are now reaching £1,000,000.’
She adds that more affordable homes can be found on the edge of the Grid, around Standen Road, Longfield Street and Balvernie Grove, where prices are around £550 per square foot.
Jennifer Young-Thompson reports that ‘quality houses on the Grid are selling well in excess of 2007 peaks’, making a comparison between extended four-bedroom terraced houses priced at around £750,000-£800,000 in 2007, now selling for £850,000-£900,000.
Elsewhere in Southfields, Sharon Byrne points to ‘properties close to Wimbledon Park and West Hill where families and investors are drawn to the larger semi-detached and detached homes, with views of the golf course and the All England Lawn Tennis Club’.
Streets close to the Tube station and Wimbledon Park Road, with their purpose-built blocks, are ideal for a buy-to-let investment.
The lettings market is buoyant too. ‘It has been very busy with the amount of tenants far outnumbering the available stock,’ says Nicola Clark of John D. Wood. She notes that tenants are well-informed and hence are less flexible on prices, taking into account the rising costs of running a home.
‘They’re also happy to agree to longer tenancy agreements,’ she adds. ‘These tenants treat their properties like they would a home they owned.’