Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth

Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth
 
Sought After Locations

26 January 2016, by Sophie Chick

This desirable patch of south west London appeals to a wide range of buyers and tenants.

 

Famed for its outside space, Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth have seen a significant transformation over the past 40 years into one of the most sought after housing markets in the capital.

Clapham was initially known as an affluent neighbourhood but following the construction of railways in the 19th century the area developed into a suburb for commuters and became less favourable with the upper classes.

It remained an unremarkable suburb for much of the 20th century but by the 1980s it had evolved to become the centre of the gentrification of surrounding Battersea and Wandsworth. Young professionals were drawn to the area when traditionally prime areas of central London became increasingly unaffordable.

The popularity of the area has continued as buyers and tenants are drawn to the open green spaces, a range of popular schools, thriving high streets and good connectivity to central London. The area is served by national rail, London Overground links and also benefits from three underground stations on the northern line.

Historically, the streets of Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth were made up of Victorian and Edwardian houses, both terraced and detached. Over the years many of these houses have been converted into flats and now houses make up just one third of the residential stock in the area.

There are currently two key locations where significant regeneration and development activity is taking place. The largest is around Nine Elms Vauxhall where there are an estimated 13,700 private units in the planning pipeline and two new underground stations. It is expected that c.6,400 private units will be delivered by 2019.

Second is Wandsworth Town, which includes the development of The Ram Quarter, following the modernisation of Southside Shopping Centre. This regeneration in both areas is likely to continue to have a positive effect on the surrounding period housing stock.

 

 
South West London

Property prices

In 2015, the average sale price for Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth was £728k, according to the Land Registry. This is a third higher than the Greater London average of £546k but offers a significant discount compared to north of the river where Fulham and Chelsea recorded average sale prices of £1.1m and £2.4m respectively.

However, variation within the area is apparent. The electoral ward of Northcote, which includes the area locally referred to as ‘between the commons’, is the most expensive location and the only ward within the geographical grouping with an average sale price of over £1m.

There are smaller enclaves of high value properties scattered throughout the region.

Prime property values in the area have increased significantly over the long term with price growth of 101.3% and 48.2% over the past ten and five years respectively.

More recently, price growth has slowed due to pressures from increased stamp duty and mortgage regulation. Over 2015, average prime values rose by a more subdued 3.3%.

FIGURE 1

The housing market around Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth: A look at where the sales happened and at what value*

 
Figure 1

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry (*11 months to November 2015)

Rental market

At £1,600, the median monthly rent in Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth is higher than the London average of £1,300, according to Rightmove. However, rental values vary significantly depending on property type and size. In Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth rents range from an average of just over £1,000 for a one bed property to almost £4,000 for a 5+ bed property.

Demand

For some, Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth acts as a stepping stone before making the move out of London to the country, but for a large proportion of buyers this is an area to set down roots. This is reflected by the fact that in the prime markets over half the buyers and tenants in 2014/15 moved from within the local area.

A further quarter of the buyers and 20% of tenants moved from the more expensive markets north of the Thames, attracted by the relative value that the area offers.

The vibrant Northcote Road and bustling Clapham High Street provide café, bar and restaurant culture as well as the authentic atmosphere many Londoners covet.

Buyers tend to be young professionals making their first home purchase, families in search of larger properties with gardens and lots of surrounding green space, or downsizers moving back to the city.

Although the prime housing market is traditionally dominated by domestic demand, international buyers still play an important role, accounting for a quarter of buyers in 2014/15. The area is popular with Western Europeans, particularly French families due to the location of the French Lycée near Clapham Common.

Buying a property to use as a main residence is the most dominant reason for purchase, however there is an active investor market in the area, accounting for 13% of buyers of second hand properties and a significantly higher proportion of new build. Investors are attracted to the area for a number of reasons including the existing active rental market. In the area, 32% of households are in the private rented sector, higher than the average across London of 25%.

In the prime rental market, demand is predominantly driven by a strong employment market across London. Just over 40% of prime tenants in Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth are renting due to employment relocation and over the past year there has been a 30% rise in enquiries from relocation agents with the majority looking for 1 or 2 bed properties.

In comparison to the sales market, those renting a prime property in the area are more likely to be international. Over the past two years, 35% of tenants have come from overseas with those from Western Europe and North America being the most dominant.

FIGURE 2

What would the same property sell for on our featured roads?

 
Figure 2

Source: Savills Research

 

 
South West London
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