Best Of Both Worlds

16 May 2016, by Gaby Day

Putney combines the appeal of suburban living with all the benefits of zone 2 centrality

 

Historically a place of leisure for wealthy Londoners, Putney has retained its open green spaces to provide the tranquillity of suburban living with all the benefits of zone 2 centrality. Buyers and renters alike are increasingly attracted to the area, which affords relative value compared to many of its south west London neighbours.

The construction of Putney Bridge in 1729 and the opening of the railway line in 1846, led to an increase in the development of large Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties as wealthy Londoners moved south of the river. As a result, the housing stock is particularly varied and all encompassing, comprising characterful properties alongside more recent 20th-century mansion blocks and new developments.

Offering easy access to various heaths, commons and popular schools the area often attracts young families seeking space. However, its relative affordability is also attracting a younger crowd, which is boosting the rental market. The overground train links to Waterloo in under 20 minutes, and two tube stations on the District line and regular buses provide easy commuter living for those working in Central London.

Putney has preserved its reputation for leisurely escapism and sporting pursuits with its active cricket, golf and rowing clubs – the famous Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race launches from Putney Embankment. Combined with a bustling high street and popular restaurants, bars and pubs, Putney has transformed into a prime location for young Londoners.

 

 
The Thames contributes greatly to Putney's appeal

▲ The Thames contributes greatly to Putney's appeal

Property prices

In 2015, the average sale price for Putney was £682k, according to the Land Registry. Whilst almost 25% above the Greater London average of £546k, Putney offers a significantly cheaper alternative to its neighbours Barnes, Fulham and Wimbledon which saw average prices of £1.4m, £1.1m and £737k respectively.

Nestled between the Thames to the north and open green space to the south, Putney offers variety in its residential areas. Unsurprisingly, property located closest to the Thames saw the highest average sale price in 2015 of £885k, with the electoral ward of Roehampton and Putney Heath offering better value with an average price under £500k. Whilst semi-detached houses in East or West Putney tend to exceed £2m, there is also a strong demand for larger detached houses, with recent sales surpassing £8m.

Prime property values have increased significantly over the long term with price growth of 30% and 97% over the past 5 and 10 years respectively. This rate of growth was similar to prime south west London values and slightly higher than prime values for all of London. Whilst more recent growth has slowed due to increased stamp duty and mortgage regulation, Putney has seen stronger growth during the first quarter of 2016 compared to some of its neighbours in south west London.

FIGURE 1

The housing market around Putney

A look at where the sales happened and at what value

 
Figure 1

Source: Savills Research using Land Registry

Rental market

Unlike the sales market, rental values in Putney are higher than the borough-wide average. The monthly median rent in Putney is £1,820, according to Rightmove data, compared to £1,773 for Wandsworth borough and £1,564 for London.

The young demographic has created a strong rental market in the area, such that private rented accommodation accounts for 31% of property in SW15.

Prices within Putney can vary significantly depending on property type and size; prime rents range from an average of £1,350pcm for a one bedroom property to over £5,000 for a 5+ bedroom property. However, at an annual average rent of £26 per sq ft for prime rental properties, this offers excellent value compared to the rest of prime south west London.

Demand

The popularity of the area is evident, with 45% of prime buyers and 39% of prime renters moving from within the SW15 postcode throughout 2014, 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. Of these buyers, 70% had two or more children and over 80% were looking to upgrade their main residence. With its wealth of popular schools, green areas and unusually wide variety of property types it is unsurprising that Putney is both an established and sought-after location for families within the south west of London.

However, it is the younger buyers and renters who are driving demand in the current market, especially in the prime rental market. Over 70% of prime renters from 2014 to 2016 stated their employment location as Central London, and over two-thirds of these tenants were aged under 40.

Similarly, nearly half of prime buyers working in Central London were aged under 40. Good commuter links, a lively social scene and the proximity of exclusive sporting clubs, such as Roehampton Club and Bank of England Club, consistently attract people to the area.

While British buyers predominate, the number of international buyers is increasing exponentially. Indeed, international residents accounted for just over 30% of buyers and 54% of renters within the prime market between 2014 and 2016, with Western Europeans the most prominent nationality across both markets.

The majority of those buying prime property in Putney were purchasing their main residence. However, the area also attracts investment with 17% of buyers in 2015 purchasing for investment purposes. This has seen an increase from 2014, where only 7% of prime purchases were buying for investment. However, with upcoming development this could also be set to see further growth.

FIGURE 2

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

 
Figure 2

*per month

Source: Savills Research

 

 
Putney has retained its open green spaces

▲ Putney has retained its open green spaces

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