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London house prices: Why every young professional in the city seems to be moving to Tooting of all places


06-11-2021

'It has all the benefits of living in Clapham without having to actually say you live in

Tom HaynesReporter
Young professionals like Jonny (second from the right) are forsaking Clapham for Tooting - even if it's right down the end of the Northern line

Is it just me or is literally everyone moving to Tooting?

I'm serious - this little corner of Wandsworth might be at the tail end of the Northern Line, but it seems like everyone in their 20s has bedded down there and unironically loves the place.

One of these Tooting converts is Jonny, 26, the weekend editor for Cycling Weekly.

For him, easy access to the Northern Line was a key part of Tooting's appeal.

"We moved to Tooting as itís cheap rent for big houses and the Northern Line quickly gets you into town," he says. "Itís basically all the benefits of living in Clapham without having to actually say you live in Clapham.

"The best thing is the variety of pubs and food places - you can go from overpriced drinks at The Castle to not getting served for 40 minutes at the Long Room, the true spectrum of London pints!"

Jonny is far from the only grad in their 20s who has fallen for the appeal of Tooting, so we asked a bunch of young people what's so special about this magical part of South London.

'The common is huge and always full of happy people'

For Bean, the main attraction is the common

Bean, 22, works in social media and moved to Tooting last month.

"I love Tooting cos itís got two Tube stations near and SO much to do," she gushes.

"The food here is amazing, the bars and pubs are amazing and the shopping is great! Also, it has a common which is huge and always full of happy people, markets and a good mix of young people and families.

"Wandsworth council tax is also one of the cheapest in London - everything you could want."

'The fact it's on the Northern line makes things so much easier'

Izzy moved to Tooting this year and is loving it

Izzy, 21, is a journalist who moved to Tooting mere weeks ago and is already loving it.

"I knew I wanted to move to South London because itís near most of my friends and also easier for me to get to from home," she tells My London.

"I have mates in Clapham but when I was looking for flats I just found I could get SO much more for my money in Tooting than other places in SW London."

She continues: "My favourite things about Tooting are the common (especially with the weather recently!) and all the great pubs, bars and restaurants down by Tooting Broadway.

"I also love how near it is to places like Balham and Clapham, and the fact itís on the Northern line just makes everything so much easier."

'The council tax is dirt cheap'

Alex says the cheap council tax is a big draw

Alex, 25, works in finance. For him, Tooting's main draws are its cheap pints and even cheaper tax.

"The council tax is dirt cheap, I pay less than £19 a month," he explains.

"Pubs are amazing. Selkirk, Antelope, Wheat Sheaf in particular, Spoons is Spoons, but it's cheap, as is the King's Head.

"BYOB curries are great food and dead cheap - Lahore Karachi and Mirch Masala in particular. The common and Tooting Lido are really fun, especially in summer.

"Tooting and Broadway markets are fantastic, from £3 pints at Secret Bar to Argentinian steak restaurants, the markets have everything."

He adds: "You can get into Central London in half an hour on the Northern line but youíre on the Tube before it fills up at Balham and Clapham, so always get a seat. It's also handy for Brixton, too."

'You're close to Clapham areas without the price tag'

 
Clara says Tooting is perfect for grads on starter salaries

Clara, a public affairs manager, has since moved away from the South London district but still has fond memories of the area.

"We moved to Tooting, to be honest because it was where we found a flat in our price range," she admits.

"I think that's probably a big pull factor, especially for fresh grads on lower salaries looking for a quick commute whilst still being in an area with other young professionals. You're close to Clapham areas but without the price tag."

She adds: "We spent about 15 months there. Good memories are of sitting on Tooting Common with hundreds of others around our age.

"Tooting and Broadway markets are great, both have kept away from major hipster vibes and are vibey at the weekend. And there are really good options for pubs (The King's Head, The Wheatsheaf, The Castle)."

'The margaritas at the market are insane'

Lydia says Tooting is cheaper than Balham or Clapham

For Lydia, 24, a staff writer who moved to Tooting "after months of living at home" Tooting has been all she ever wanted.

"Iíd been a few times before and liked the vibe of the area," she explained.

"I picked Tooting as it was cheaper than Balham and Clapham, but still had all the amenities I wanted and, letís be honest, far less annoying rugby boys. Itís got pubs, bars and the common is a real highlight.

"I havenít been here too long but so far my favourite discovery is the insane margaritas at Tacos and tequila in the market - honestly canít beat them."

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