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
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Java Developer - Banking - London - Up to £560/day

£500 - £560 per day: Orgtel: Java Developer FX - Banking - London - Up to £560...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager - (Product & Account Management, Marketing)

£26000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Account Manager - (Produc...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on