As gentrification swept across Brixton in the decade to 2016, rapid house price growth swiftly followed. Between 2013 and 2015, the average sold price for a property in the area increased by close to £200,000.
In neighbouring Streatham, while hardly languishing, house prices went up by a comparatively modest £127,000 over the same period, according to Land Registry figures.
However, in the last year a reversal of fortunes has seen prices in Streatham rise by 12.6 per cent, compared to 1.4 per cent in Brixton, reports estate agent KFH.
Family homes in Streatham still sell for roughly half the price of similar properties in nearby areas, according to Rightmove, which found the average price of a terrace house in Streatham was £596,000, compared to £1.2 million for similar properties in Clapham and Balham.
“Because house prices have gone up in such a short space of time in Brixton, people who bought flats for a low amount in 2012/13 may have doubled, or even more than doubled, their price,” says Thomas Howe, Streatham sales manager for Foxtons. “They can afford a house just up the hill from Brixton in Streatham for a very similar price to what they’re achieving on their flat.”
The average price of renting and buying in Streatham
|Type of home||Buy||Rent|
|One-bedroom flat||£338,449||£1,187 pcm|
|Two-bedroom flat||£446,933||£1,417 pcm|
|Three-bedroom house||£606,724||£1,853 pcm|
|Four-bedroom house||£869,911||£2,396 pcm|
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With its outstanding state schools and spacious housing stock – a remnant of Streatham’s well-to-do past – the area has seen an influx of young families cashing in on Brixton's house price growth.
“We’re a bit more affordable than Clapham or Brixton, but you get a much better property for your prices. A long time ago, Streatham was really expensive, so the housing stock is really grand and big,” says Robert Cornthwaite, Streatham sales manager at KFH.
As a result, the high street, once voted the worst in Britain, is seeing its fortunes rise – Streatham was number 17 on the recent Coffee Shop Index by Hamptons International, which linked the opening of coffee shops in an area with future house price growth. Along with the new London Square development and two new Marks and Spencer stores in the pipeline, locals agree that the future’s bright for SW16.
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“Streatham’s a bit of a micro-climate within this greater south-west London area. It’s the last pocket where you can still get something more affordable,” says Cornthwaite. “People actually want to live here now and take advantage of the cheaper prices before they go up massively."
In response to recent price growth and the expectation that it will continue in 2017, estate agent Douglas & Gordon is rolling out a "virtual office", which has no physical high street presence, but two dedicated brokers working remotely. It says the total number of properties sold in Streatham rose by an average of 18.5 per cent between 2010 and 2015, almost double the rate in Brixton, which increased by 10.6 per cent in the same period.
“When deciding on new areas in which to operate, one of the things you look for is volume of properties hitting the market,” says Charlie Mitchell, property broker in Streatham at Douglas & Gordon. “When you dig into the Streatham market, it’s very easy to make the argument the area is on the brink of doing what Brixton did five years ago – rapid, sustained growth in terms of property market volume and value.”