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What is drawing more homebuyers to Streatham? | Financial Times Financial Times

What is drawing more homebuyers to Streatham? | Financial Times Financial Times

In the 1930s, the stretch of shops and entertainment venues along the 1.8 mile-long High Road earned Streatham the moniker the “West End of south London”. The suburb still has traces of its Art Deco past in its built heritage, even if its reputation for glamour has faded.

It’s still a well-connected place to live, according to Livia Solustri. She bought her first home there last April, moving from nearby Brixton after her budget of £400,000 got her a 1,000 sq ft three-bedroom flat with a balcony.

“I looked north and south of the river. Streatham has good train and bus routes, two great commons on its doorstep, and it feels like it’s on the up,” says the 32-year-old strategy consultant. “It’s still considered a bit uncool, but the perception of it is changing.”

The High Road that cuts through Streatham was once part of the main route out of London towards the south coast. It was also home to the UK’s first branch of the upmarket supermarket Waitrose in 1955, though its closure eight years later reflected the area’s direction of travel.

Waitrose has yet to reappear, but Streatham’s relative affordability is attracting buyers from the adjacent more fashionable areas of Clapham, Balham and Brixton seeking larger homes and the green spaces of Tooting Bec and Streatham Commons.

The number of sales in Streatham in the first six months of last year increased by 68 per cent compared with the same period in 2019, outperforming the London average (up 43 per cent for the same period), according to Hamptons using Land Registry data.

The average price of a property purchased in the area last year was £554,620 — up 14 per cent on 2019 — compared with the London average of £637,840 (a rise of 7 per cent per cent). The proportion of £1m+ sales also reached an all-time high of 7 per cent of transactions.

To the north of the SW16 postcode, Streatham Hill — part of SW2 — is the most expensive neighbourhood, with some properties going for over £2m in the Telford Park Conservation Area, with its Arts and Crafts style houses and a lawn tennis club.

It’s prized for its proximity to Tooting Bec Common and Streatham Hill rail station (there is no Underground station in Streatham) with semi-detached houses on popular avenues such as Telford, Killieser and Criffel, and Kirkstall Road, selling from £1.2m to more than £2m over the past three years.

For two-bedroom garden flats in this area you’ll need at least £500,000, but one on Brancaster Road completed in the past few weeks at £570,000 — £20,000 over the asking price — according to Charlie Carroll of agent Marsh & Parsons. “The glut of our stock are two-bedroom flats for £400,000 to £700,000 — typically first-time buyer homes,” he says. The higher-priced ones are larger and closer to Streatham Hill.

What is drawing more homebuyers to Streatham? | Financial Times Financial Times

The average price of a flat in Streat­ham — £400,530 — increased by 6 per cent in 2021 compared with 2019, according to Hamptons (half of the home sales here in 2021 were flats). Houses were up 16 per cent on 2019.

Another sought-after pocket across the High Road (A23) is made up of the “ABCD” roads — Amesbury, Barcombe, Cricklade and Downton Avenues — where Victorian and Edwardian three/four-bedroom semi-detached houses sell for around £700,000 to over £1m.

Only 7 per cent of retail spaces are empty, less than half of the 14.5 per cent national average [in Q2 2021], says Louise Abbotts of InStreatham, a Business Improvement District of 500 local businesses that pay an extra levy to enhance the area. About £1.25m is being spent over five years on greening, street cleaning and courting investment. “Here it’s a process of organic regeneration rather than gentrification,” she says. “Seventy per cent of business owners here are local — not nationwide chains.”

They have introduced a cargo bike scheme to reduce motor vehicles and are working with investors to repurpose vacant buildings such as the Grade II-listed Streatham Hill Theatre — partially occupied by a slot machine arcade — and the Art Deco foyer of the former ABC Cinema (the rest of the building is flats).

While Ofsted-rated Outstanding Graveney School attracts families to Furzedown — a ward that straddles both Tooting and Streatham — there are also large family homes on the roads around Streatham Common such as Braxted Park, Copley Park and Lewin Road.

It’s south Streatham, near Streatham Common station, that generally offers better value than the north, with 1930s three-bedroom houses in Streatham Vale available for similar prices to a large garden flat in Streatham Hill.

It’s where David Hobson-Cleverley set up David’s Deli, a cheesemonger, in December after moving to the area from Clapham Junction with his husband Sam. “We felt that the demographic has changed in Streatham but the shops weren’t keeping up. We are doing our bit to make Streatham a destination again.”

What you can buy for . . . 

£535,000 A three-bedroom, renovated flat on two floors of a converted Victorian house, for sale with Dexters.


£1.5m An Edwardian five-bedroom double-fronted home in south Streatham (Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward).


£2.625m A six-bedroom detached house with off-street parking and a gate on to Tooting Bec Common (Hamptons).

Buying guide

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