WHY WE SHOULD ALL MOVE TO TOOTING
With everything from studios to family homes, and period property to new development, Tooting in South West London has lots to offer reports Karen Tait
Tooting is having a moment, as buyers and renters priced out of Balham look further afield, just as others have done over the past 10 years choosing Balham over pricier Clapham and Wandsworth. While Tooting hasn’t always been the most desirable place to live, it has all the right ingredients: the open spaces of Tooting Common, with the popular Tooting Bec Lido, as well as neighbouring Wandsworth Common; attractive period housing (Victorian and Edwardian terraces in particular); and good transport links (the Northern Line at Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway, and services to Waterloo and Blackfriars via Tooting rail station).
Tooting High Street, Upper Tooting Road and Mitcham Lane are lively shopping streets with a mix of independent stores, including colourful sari shops, supermarkets and some high street chains, interspersed by the ubiquitous Indian restaurants along with more recent additions such as the Chicken Shop and Honest Burger.
Most of Tooting falls within the SW17 postcode, with Furzedown and Streatham Park, south of Tooting Bec Road, within SW16. ‘Originally famed for its wealth of excellent curry houses, Tooting is an area that has recently experienced a rapid period of market growth and gentrification,’ comments Noel Lawrence, of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward.
‘Thanks to the excellent transport links and recent influx of trendy restaurants and bars, Tooting Broadway has become increasingly popular with first-time buyers. These are mainly young professional couples attracted by both the period flats and maisonettes as well as the number of new-build flats in the area.’
Perhaps a measure of the area’s success was the recent launch of ‘The Broadway’ development on the high street, which attracted over 300 people and saw 50% of the site’s 83 apartments instantly reserved. Indeed, according to the developer Crest Nicholson unprecedented demand meant that they had to hold two separate launches – a VIP night for those who registered months ago and a second sitting for more recent sign-ups.
‘We’ve been inundated with enquiries about the site ever since it was announced so it’s no surprise so many of the units have been snapped up at the first opportunity,’ says Julia Reynolds of Crest Nicholson London. ‘There’s a huge amount of media buzz about Tooting and, consequently, it is enjoying a huge surge in popularity with property purchasers.’
Close to public transport and St George’s Hospital, The Broadway is attracting both young professionals and buy-to-let investors interested in the potential for long-term tenants working for the NHS.
‘Tooting is becoming more and more popular with both renters and buyers,’ says Rachelle Cramp of James Pendleton Estate Agents. ‘Attractive period features, excellent connections and a quiet residential feel are all factors influencing the increase in interest, an increase which shows no sign of slowing.
‘The area is characterised by quiet leafy streets of Victorian properties as it underwent extensive development in this period. There is also a wealth of 20th-century architecture – particularly dating from the Edwardian era and the 1920s and 1930s.’
According to Noel Lawrence, typical prices for a two-bedroom flat are from around £450,000-£500,000, while the Furzedown area is popular with families, offering larger period houses and good primary and secondary schools. Here houses typically range between about £800,000 and £1,000,000.
For renters, Tooting offers a good choice of property, from small studios to four-bedroom family homes. ‘Two-bedroom terraced houses seem more popular than ever with couples looking for extra space and a garden,’ says Ashley Napier of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. ‘These are currently achieving £1,600 per month. Four-bedroom houses are also performing exceptionally well with sharers and families, typically starting in price from around £2,200 per month.’