South Lon­don’s soar­ing en­clave

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of great schools, plenty of green spa­ces, strict man­age­ment by the landowner, the Dul­wich Es­tate, and the fact that south-east Lon­don is still rel­a­tively good value com­pared with south-west Lon­don,” says Tom Bill of Knight Frank. He points to the pop­u­lar pri­vate schools of Dul­wich Col­lege, Al­leyn’s and James Allen Girls, along with a good mix of state schools.

Well, maybe not quite so af­ford­able now. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search the av­er­age sales price in the picket-fenced Vil­lage (SE21 7) is £1.75mil­lion; SE22 (East Dul­wich) is a much larger area and so there is a higher turnover of homes, worth on av­er­age £614,000 to £693,000.

Twenty years ago the stock three­bed­room Vic­to­rian ter­race around Lord­ship Lane, East Dul­wich’s high street, cost around £200,000. Now such homes are worth £1mil­lion to £1.25mil­lion, even con­sid­er­ing a dip in re­cent months. In that time the Lane has evolved from be­ing a lack­lus­tre high street with the num­ber of good restau­rants you could count on one hand, into a ver­sion of Clapham’s North­cote Road, with its in­de­pen­dent shops, or­ganic food stores, gas­trop­ubs and, more re­cently, its own art­house cin­ema, the Dul­wich Pic­ture­house.

Broad­church ac­tress Olivia Cole­man has said her best in­vest­ment was a flat in East Dul­wich that she sold on for a chunky profit be­fore mov­ing to a house in Peck­ham; other thes­pian lo­cals in­clude Iain Glen, James Nes­bitt and He­len Led­erer.

The chang­ing de­mo­graphic of the area has also led to an im­prove­ment in state pri­maries, such as Heber and Besse­mer Grange. But for Suzie Godfrey, whose chil­dren Theo, nine, and Sophia, six, at­tend Besse­mer, it was not just about the schools.

“My hus­band Alex and I moved from West Dul­wich for more of a buzz,” says the 45-year-old, who runs her own choco­late brownie gift­box busi­ness, The Sweet Rea­son Company.

“We grav­i­tated to East Dul­wich to go out in the even­ing to the bet­ter restau­rants and bars.

“Over the past few years there has been a no­tice­able in­flux of start-ups. There are many of us who are self-em­ployed, as well as many young fam­i­lies. There’s a great com­mu­nity feel; I or­gan­ise our two an­nual street par­ties.”

The God­freys’ four-bed­room Vic­to­rian semi-de­tached house near East Dul­wich sta­tion, which is just 12 min­utes into Lon­don Bridge, cost £520,000 in 2009, but af­ter two ex­ten­sions is now worth £1.4mil­lion.

The most pop­u­lar streets nearby in­clude Elsie Road, and Mel­bourne, Ch­ester­field and Ash­bourne Groves, ac­cord­ing to Paul Bent of agent Kin­leigh Folkard & Hay­ward (KFH). “They are near the new char­ter school, the sta­tion and Lord­ship Lane,” he says. The agent has a fivebed­room house on Ch­ester­field Grove for sale for £1.275 mil­lion.

Typ­i­cal buy­ers are split be­tween fam­i­lies and young pro­fes­sion­als, he adds. “Along with lo­cals up­siz­ing, there are first-time buy­ers look­ing for a two-bed­room gar­den flat for £500,000 to £550,000, or a one-bed­room flat for £400,000. We are see­ing a new buyer pro­file from Is­ling­ton and Crouch End, helped by the emer­gence of Peck­ham Rye as a ‘mini Shored­itch’ with its hip­ster cafés.”

For those not so driven by this trendy scene – or with deeper pock­ets – Dul­wich Vil­lage is highly sought-af­ter, with its quaint toll­gate and small col­lec­tion of busi­nesses.

There’s Gail’s Bak­ery, Fired Earth and the Crown & Grey­hound Pub (“The Dog”), where Charles Dick­ens once drank, and the his­toric Dul­wich Pic­ture Gallery, al­though it’s cry­ing out for a Waitrose (and you can for­get any new-build de­vel­op­ments, too). But Dul­wich Park has a time­less charm, com­plete with boat­ing lake and horses from the nearby rid­ing school.

“The prime streets are Tur­ney Road, Vil­lage Way, Burbage Road, Cal­ton Av­enue and the Vil­lage end of Court Lane, A Vic­to­rian five-bed­room home in Ch­ester­field Grove, near Lord­ship Lane. It has a big lawned gar­den with the op­tion to ex­tend the house at the back. £1.275 mil­lion This dou­ble-fronted, de­tached sev­enbed­room house is in a pop­u­lar road in Dul­wich Vil­lage, in a catch­ment area for good schools. £2.75 mil­lion A five-bed­room house lo­cated near the shops and buzzy cafés of Lord­ship Lane. The liv­ing room-kitchen area has bi­fold doors that open on to the gar­den. £1.3 mil­lion that falls into the catch­ment area for schools,” says Mitchell Mur­phy of Knight Frank.

Your money can go fur­ther on the bor­ders in both Peck­ham Rye and Nun­head Vil­lage but also West Dul­wich, Honor Oak Park and For­est Hill, where you can get big­ger houses and gar­dens for the same price as a skinny semi off Lord­ship Lane.

Suzie Godfrey runs a busi­ness from her East Dul­wich home

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