Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe

Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe
 
Desirable Family Locations

16 May 2016, by Frances Clacy

Buyers and tenants alike are attracted to these leafy South West London neighbourhoods

 

Wimbledon is best known for being home to one of the world’s biggest summer sporting events, but the leafy London village became a desirable location to live well before the championships began in 1877.

From the early 17th century, Wimbledon appealed to wealthy families relocating from the City in search of a quieter, less urban lifestyle. The catalyst for real change began with the opening of the train station in 1838 and transport links were further improved by the extension of the District Line in 1889.

This increased demand for property in the area, particularly large houses, triggered a Victorian building boom with many grand houses and terraces being built along the roads running outwards from the Village. Once this demand slowed after the Second World War, many of these houses were split into flats.

Neighbouring Coombe has a similar history to Wimbledon but today it is less densely populated and a larger proportion of houses remain in their original form. By comparison, property development in Southfields did not begin until 1889, following the extension of the district line. Today, the main residential area in Southfields is known as ‘The Grid’, consisting mainly of Edwardian terraces.

 

 
Demand for prime housing remains strong

Property prices

The average sale price across Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe in 2015 was just over £800k, according to Land Registry. This is 47% and 38% higher than the average seen across Greater London and the borough of Merton which were £546k and £581k, respectively.

Variation depending on location and type of property is seen throughout the area. The electoral ward of Village, which includes sought-after addresses at the top of the hill, is the highest value area outside the boroughs of Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, with an average sale price of over £1.8m. By contrast, the emerging areas of Abbey and Dundonald, to the south of the railway tracks, have a combined average sale price of just over £600k.

In the prime markets, the average £ per sq ft is £800, but can vary from £770 for a flat to £840 for a house, offering a considerable discount to the prime central London average, of almost £2,000/sq ft.

Over the medium term, increases in prime property values in the Wimbledon area have been strong, with growth totalling 29.7% over the five years to March 2016.

More recently however, higher value prime areas have been constrained by increases in stamp duty and increased mortgage regulation. Since September 2014, the recent peak of the market, average values in the prime market have fallen by a marginal -0.2%, slightly outperforming the fall of -1.2% seen across wider prime London.

FIGURE 1

The Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe housing market in 2015

A look at where the sales happened and at what value

 
Figure 1

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry

Rental market

In contrast to the sales market, the median monthly rental value of £1,600 in Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe, is only marginally higher than the Merton borough average, according to Rightmove. Across the area, rents vary from around £1,300 per month for a one bed property to almost £4,000 per month for large houses, and prime properties in the Village can rent for up to £17,000 per month.

Prime rental growth in the Wimbledon area has outperformed prime London over the past five years with total growth of 8.2%, more than four times the levels seen across all prime London. The average annual rent per square foot is currently £27 in prime Wimbledon, which offers a significant discount compared to the average seen across all of prime London at £40 per square foot.

Demand

Buyers and tenants alike are initially drawn to Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe for the good schools, access to green space and connectivity to central London. Once living in the area, residents tend to set down roots for many years. This is reflected by the fact that in the prime markets, half of all buyers and a third of all tenants in 2014/15 moved from within the borough of Merton and a further 18% and 10% respectively moved from neighbouring boroughs.

Furthermore, the majority of buyers are purchasing their main residence, giving the area a strong sense of community. In 2014/15, just 10% of buyers purchased property for other reasons such as investment, redevelopment or a second home.

International residents provide significant demand for property in the area, often attracted by Marymount International School in Coombe. Over 2014/15, international buyers made up 34% of the market in prime Wimbledon and international tenants accounted for 51%.

Good transport links and easy access to employment hubs is an important driver of demand for prime housing. In Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe there are seven stations, all in Travelcard zone three, served by a combination of national rail and underground services. This is particularly relevant in the prime rental market, as the most popular reason for tenants renting prime property in the area is employment relocation, accounting for almost half of all tenants in 2014/15.

Family life

Wimbledon, Southfields and Coombe are well known for being popular with families. There are a number of highly regarded state primary schools such as Hollymount and Dundonald in Wimbledon and Sheringdale in Southfields, which have fierce competition for places meaning families often move a short distance to be within catchment areas. The area also boasts a number of well known independent schools.

Proximity to green space is often a key requirement for families and the closer properties are to these green spaces, the more desirable and therefore the more expensive they tend to be. Our analysis shows an average premium of 15.7% for prime properties located within 100m of a park or common, compared to those located elsewhere, on a £ per sq ft basis.

FIGURE 2

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

 
Figure 2

*per month

Source: Savills Research

 

 
The area holds many family attractions
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