Hot Spot: Morden, South London; Wake up to the sleepy 'burb

Despite its name, Morden is not at all lugubrious. A bit downmarket and dull, yes - but such factors explain why the area is attractive to young couples and singles who, for the same money that buys a small flat in a trendy or more convenient part of town, prefer a house and garden where boredom is a greater danger than burglary.

Morden has little to offer besides an Underground station - it is the southernmost stop on the Northern Line - and houses and parks. The former are modest in size and price, consisting mostly of three-bedroom houses with a few two-bedroom maisonettes and two-bedroom houses. Bigger properties with up to six bedrooms are available, but these tend to have been extended rather than purpose-built.

Morden remains stubbornly quiescent and dim. In a few years time a tram will link the area to Wimbledon and Croydon, but it hasn't created much of a stir yet.

Nor are defectors from Wandsworth or Clapham likely to make an appearance and shake up house prices. Even if trendy eateries and boutiques were not so conspicuously absent, Morden houses are too small and plain. "This area does not have the Victorian and Edwardian features that the Wandsworth types want," notes Sean Purtill, a partner in Ellison's estate agents.

"Morden's strengths are affordability and transport," says Janet Brooks of Andrews estate agents. "It is not the centre of London, but it is not pure countryside either, and it has the best of both worlds. It is now more urban than it used to be, but without the inner-London problems of a Wandsworth or Balham."

When the Underground arrived in 1926, property developers had a literal field day, transforming Morden's meadows, farms and golf courses into housing. The names of the major builders are still associated with the houses they built - some houses boast the name Blay, Crouch or Selley.

According to Mr Purtill, the scarcity in materials and manpower caused by the Great War were still operative when Morden was developed. With builders in short supply, labour costs were high and houses were consequently smaller and simpler.

"The most sought-after areas are Cannon Hill, Hillcross and Wandle Road, which is near Mitcham," says Mr Purtill. Prices tend to decline with proximity to Mitcham, except near the river, which is "beautiful and idyllic".

Cannon Hill houses tend to be larger than the Morden norm: "The council gave Blay a subsidy to build larger homes, and even the third bedroom is a double bedroom, not a box room," says Mr Purtill. Morden Park contains "classic 1930s black-and-white Tudor houses - pretty, but smaller than the homes in Cannon Hill." Some have uninterrupted views over the park.

Morden's ex-council properties can be found in the 1930s St Helier Estate, which occupies a huge swathe of Morden, south-east of the Underground. Ms Brooks reports that these solid, if undistinguished, houses are about 90 per cent privately owned.

A high proportion of Morden houses are detached or semi-detached and have garages. Eighty-foot gardens are the norm in the better areas, and even in St Helier 40ft gardens are common. "The schools have good reputations," says Ms Brooks. And even when properties turn over, neighbourhoods remain stable: "This is very much a family area. First-time buyers purchase a two-bed house, then buy a three-bedroom house nearby."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower