With properties from £170,000, Peckham is firmly first-time buyer territory too, while for those moving up the ladder, cheaper Victorian houses are plentiful, from £350,000.
“Peckham has reached the stage where people want to live here, rather than having to live here because they cannot afford somewhere else,” said John East, director of estate agent Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. Fashionable new-build schemes are sprouting up to meet the rising demand.
Peckham splits into three definable parts: the northern patch around much-improved Burgess Park, the bustling town centre, and the leafier southern section embracing Nunhead, Peckham Rye and the Bellenden conservation area, which is popular with families and arty types.
© Rebecca Reid
Victorian treasures near Burgess Park
Burgess Park is a 113-acre expanse, upgraded with new entrances, pathways, recreational areas and planting. It is one of the capital’s most underrated Victorian parks, with several listed buildings, including a Victorian church, library and baths, almshouses and artisan cottages. New homes are for sale around the park’s perimeter.
Albany Place comprises four new apartment blocks, one facing directly on to the park. Prices start at £265,000. Buyers get free Zipcar membership. Call L&Q housing association on 0844 406 9290.
Peckham’s architectural legacy is also evident in the lively town centre, where council-backed regeneration is helping to tackle street crime, while a “neighbourhood action plan” is upgrading key corners and public spaces. Rye Lane, recently designated a conservation area, has attracted Heritage Lottery cash which is bringing dilapidated period buildings back to life. Coming soon is a Notting Hill Housing association scheme of 333 new homes around a communal garden and “pocket” park.
Peckham Hill Street runs from the town centre to Burgess Park, parallel to former Grand Surrey Canal — sadly concreted over in the Sixties. The canal’s contours are still visible and a sprinkling of old factories and warehouses, which emerged after the canal was built in the early 19th century, survive today.
For many years these were the right buildings in the wrong place, passed over by developers who were unconvinced that the area was ready for loft living. But now attitudes have changed, and small-scale conversion projects are ongoing. Camberwell College of Arts on Peckham Road provides buyers and renters.
Factory flats at Peckham Grove cost from £229,950 — call Foxtons on 020 8613 6200 for details — while double-height loft-style apartments in a Victorian school conversion on York Grove cost from £315,000. Piano Factory on Peckham Road is another sought-after address, offering loft spaces up to 1,700 square feet.
Developing story in Nunhead
Nunhead, previously ignored except for its famous cemetery, is worth investigating. It has acquired “village” status, going from being a sleepy neighbourhood to having an independent baker, butcher, fishmonger, florist, deli and gastropub.
Nunhead Green, the hub, has been tidied up and a row of refurbished almshouses adds period charm. Remarkably, locals even have Aquarius Golf Club on their doorstep, a challenging nine-hole private course created on elevated land that is part of a Thames Water reservoir.
Overlooking Nunhead Green is a new development with 13 flats and four live-work units, all currently rented but coming up for sale soon. Call Wooster & Stock on 020 7708 6700.
Ivydale Road curves around the cemetery and offers new Victorian-style four-bedroom houses with solar roofs which back on to a “wildlife corridor”, an uncultivated strip of land. Prices from £545,000. Call 020 7089 1315 for more information.