Streatham has come a long way since 2002 when its high street, the longest in Europe, was voted the worst in the UK by a government-backed architectural watchdog, which lamented the traffic-clogged route's decline from its Fifties heyday.
Back in the day, the south London suburb was an upmarket shopping and leisure destination, with a Locarno ballroom, theatre and ice rink. The very first Waitrose store, badge of middle-class affluence, opened in Streatham in 1955.
The retail scene reached a low point in the Nineties after the closure of Pratts, an old- style department store which had grown from a Victorian draper's shop. However, that later watchdog's verdict was a blessing in disguise for the area. Lambeth council and Transport for London put in place a regeneration masterplan for streetscape improvements and redevelopment of key sites. Refurbished Streatham Green gardens won a Metropolitan Police award for best public open space.
Away from the high street, new homes are arriving in leafy streets such as Leigham Court Road, where an old Dairy Crest depot is being turned into flats and townhouses as The Old Dairy. The houses each offer 1,648sq ft of space and an attic-style master bedroom with high ceiling. Prices from £749,950. Call Bellway on 0845 548 3004.
Because Streatham is entering this new era from a relatively low price base, it is a good bet if you are putting down roots for the medium to long term, say agents.