Living on the edge in SW London

By Amanda Collings

A recent request to contribute to a press article about living in and around Northcote Road in Battersea got me thinking about the benefits of living on the edge of areas that are most definitely evolved in recent years.

London being a series of markets within markets, it has been interesting to see over the years how an areas status has improved and really got it on ‘the place to live’ map. Once an area has become fully established (and property prices have risen to reflect this) the surrounding areas then themselves undergo somewhat of a transformation as boundaries get pushed outwards and buyers look to buy somewhere close by, where they can get more property for their money but enjoy much of the same amenities. This in turn seems to set the foundations for the next generation ‘place to be’.

It’s easy to see evidence of this, particularly in the south west, for example, where budgets are stretched in Chelsea, property prices in neighbouring Fulham still remain competitive and you are likely to get more for your money. Fulham also benefits from a great community and coffee house lifestyle of its own, yet is still a stones-throw from Chelsea.

For those where Fulham prices have become restricted, then across the river on Northcote Road, or ‘nappy valley’ as it is more fondly known, is an area where the majority of residence are young professional families. With access to excellent junior schools (state and private), plenty of green open space (the area sits between the Commons of Clapham and Wandsworth) and a wonderful café culture, it’s easy to see why this area has become popular.

However, it doesn’t come without a price tag, and the typical four to five bed Victorian terrace houses found in nappy valley are anywhere between £1.2M and £1.4M. So what’s the alternative? Neighbouring Clapham, Balham or other areas of Battersea all offer reduced £’s per sq ft but with the benefits of being able to access the heart and soul of the established areas.

It’s clear to see why living on the edge has its benefits, as a colleague recently pointed out to me “it’s a like buying a Seat instead of a Golf, it’s exactly the same car but with a different badge and therefore cheaper.”

However, there isn’t necessarily more supply in fringe areas but there will be less competition as they are not always the first port of call for the overseas buyer and therefore it should be easier to secure a property. Having said this, there are an increasing number of column inches dedicated to this very topic so competition may well increase over the next few years.

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