Often referred to as “Nappy Valley”, the area between the vast green spaces of Wandsworth and Clapham Commons in Battersea, south-west London, attracts young families in search of a neighbourhood with good schools, large family houses and good transport links with central London.
© Krestine Havemann
The busy high street, Northcote Road, runs from Battersea Rise in the north and towards Clapham South, and is packed with smart shops, cafés, and trendy bars and restaurants.
Each Saturday, Northcote Road fills up with market stalls offering fresh produce, as well as local art, ceramics, clothes and antiques.
Danny Hardy, Sales Manager of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Battersea branch, has worked in the area for 12 years and has also chosen to live here. He describes it as an “atmospheric and quite exciting place to live. There is very much a café culture during the day with lots of young families and fashionable shops, and of an evening there’s a vibrant nightlife.”
The insider’s guide: Danny Hardy, KFH
What types of properties are typical to this area?
This area is characterised by Victorian flats and terrace houses, most of which typically have four or five bedrooms. There is a trend at the moment of buyers purchasing two flats and converting them back to a house, which reflects the shortage of family homes in the area.
What types of buyers are attracted to the area?
It isn’t call Nappy Valley for nothing. This pocket of London is popular with young families attracted by the vast outdoor spaces and excellent primary schools, and young professionals, including many City workers, who appreciate an easy commute to Waterloo or Victoria, and are drawn to the vibrant bar and restaurant scene.
What are the "hottest" properties in the area?
The Victorian family houses within the catchment area of good local schools - Honeywell and Belleville primary schools - are sought-after. Also, houses in streets directly off Northcote Road, which include Mallinson, Bennerley, Salcott, Wakehurst, Belleville, Kelmscott and Bramfield Roads. And Bollingbroke Grove is a sought-after street as it runs along Wandsworth Common.
Where are the ‘hidden gems’?
The streets off Bollingbroke Grove and Wandsworth Common are set back from the high street and many homes here have sought-after views of the common.
A bit further away, off Lavender Hill, are old railway worker’s cottages that are very idyllic in Shaftesbury estate. They were built in close proximity to Clapham Junction so have a great location.
What are the best investment opportunities?
With an easy commute into the City, this is an excellent area for renting. Buy-to-let investors tend to look for high-yielding ex-local authority flats.
There is an up-and-coming area off St John’s Road, moments from Clapham Junction, which is an enclave of Victorian flats and house conversions that is probably 10 per cent cheaper than property directly off Northcote Road and is very popular with buy-to-let investors due to its close proximity to the bars and restaurants in the high street.
How is local transport?
Northcote Road has excellent links to central London within 15 minutes from Clapham Junction - Europe’s busiest train station. The Northern line tube also gives easy access to central London. Residents can walk to Clapham Junction from Northcote Road in five minutes, and to Clapham South Tube station in 15 minutes.
What are your favourite viewings to show potential buyers?
Well-presented and well-located Victorian family houses between the two commons, of which there are plenty.
Where would you buy in the area?
I would buy a large detached house on Bollingbroke Grove overlooking Wandsworth Common.