London's super-suburbs revealed: the three types of areas homebuyers should explore
The majority of Londoners live in the city’s suburbs - which range from leafy “urban villages”, to arty enclaves and family-friendly nappy valleys.
New research from Savills has identified three types of London suburb buyers should explore - the affluent enclaves that will always be desirable, the up-and-coming areas where prices are moving fast, and the places to track down affordable homes set for price growth.
IMAGE GALLERY: BROWSE HOMES FOR SALE IN THE "SUPER SUBURBS"
Barking and Dagenham, in north-east London, includes six of the 10 least expensive suburban wards. Gascoigne ward has homes for just £156,261. However, the area is struggling to rebound from recession with prices still 17 per cent lower than five years ago.
One of the best performing bargain wards is Glyndon, aka Plumstead, in Greenwich, where prices are up two per cent to £191,324.
Around Plumstead Common, a three-bedroom Victorian house would cost about £300,000, far cheaper than in the surrounding suburbs of East Dulwich, Deptford or Greenwich.
The new Woolwich Crossrail station will be within walking distance of Plumstead, with direct trains to central London for the first time. At present trains from Plumstead station take just under half an hour to Cannon Street and an annual season ticket is £1,284.
On the downside, Plumstead has no good shops or social life, nowhere to go out for a drink or a meal. Locals take a cab to Greenwich or Dulwich. But Plumstead is showing signs of gentrification as it benefits from the overspill from Charlton, which has seen dramatic price increases in the past six months.
> Search for homes for sale in Plumstead
£595,000: a three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens close to Haydons Road mainline station and Colliers Wood Tube station
UP-AND-COMING AREAS TO WATCH
The most-improved suburbs in London include Wimbledon Park, the streets around the Tube station and adjacent to the more expensive Wimbledon Village. Average prices have shot up by 97 per cent in the last five years, to an average £702,374.
Clive Moon, a director of Savills, says young families are attracted by good primary schools such as Wimbledon Park and Bishop Gilpin. “It is a pretty area, with an easy commute into town, and Wimbledon Park itself is brilliant for children.”
A three- to four-bedroom terrace house would cost from about £850,000, a two-bedroom flat from £425,000, or you could spend £1.25 million-plus on a four- to five-bedroom semi.
In west London, three of the top wards to watch are Ealing Broadway, up 47 per cent to an average £604,806; Ealing Common, up 44 per cent to £551,683, and Walpole - otherwise known as old Ealing - up 40 per cent to an average £539,000.
Emma Gardiner, a partner at Gardiner Residential, says: “It is because Crossrail is coming to Ealing Broadway and West Ealing. You can already get to the City and it is drawing Docklands people who would otherwise have moved to Essex.”
The strong five-year growth means family homes in Ealing are expensive. A two-bedroom flat will be £550,000, a double-fronted detached period house on a prime street close to Ealing Broadway station could easily cost £3 million to £4 million, and a three-bedroom terrace anywhere in the area will set you back about £1.5 million.
Ealing Common, served by the District and Piccadilly lines, is cheaper but a four-bedroom mid-terrace house will still cost about £1 million, while a two-bedroom flat will be about £450,000. In Walpole you could find a three-bedroom mid-terrace house with potential for a loft conversion at £750,000 to £800,000. Two-bedroom flats range from £375,000 to £400,000. Parents pay Ealing prices to be near Christ the Saviour Church of England Primary School and Drayton Manor High, both rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.
Muswell Hill in north London is the strongest performer among the 10 most expensive suburbs. Image: Alamy
Clustered in north and south London, the most expensive enclaves offer great schools and period homes which attract young families out of the city centre. The council ward of “Village” in Merton — which includes chichi Wimbledon Village — tops the Savills list with average prices of £1.7 million, up 34 per cent in the past five years.
Hampstead Garden Suburb in Barnet, the north London model suburb, laid out in 1907 as an experiment in creating a wholesome, countrified environment within striking distance of central London, places second, with average prices of £1.8 million, up 19 per cent in the same period.
Muswell Hill is the strongest performer among the 10 most expensive suburbs, with prices up 52 per cent in five years, to an average of £806,500. Andrew Hunt, sales manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, says that in the first 13 weeks of this year his branch registered 521 buyers, compared with 275 in the same period last year. Expect to pay about £1.2 million for a four-bedroom Edwardian house in Muswell Hill, or from £450,000 for a two-bedroom flat.