Property Hot Spot: Wimbledon, South-West London - Great for mixed singles

You may not find the Wombles on the common, but `two-faced' SW19 has a wide property range that appeals to all classes, from the established rich to the young and rootless.

Generally, when we outgrow our current space, we acquire, expand, extend or move. These options apply to tennis clubs as well as to people. Founded in 1868, Wimbledon's most famous resident, the All England Croquet Club obtained four acres on Worple Road in downtown Wimbledon a year later.

In 1920, with "Lawn Tennis" having been added to its name, the club purchased land at its current location on Church Road "after efforts to extend the boundaries of the old ground by buying adjoining properties had failed." (Alan Little, 1999 Wimbledon Compendium.)

Similar relocations are still taking place: "It is a natural move for growing families in Putney, who want to stay on the District Line, to move to Wimbledon, which is cheaper," says Stephen Pither, associate partner at one local estate agents, Ellisons.

However, as Wombles and tennis historians know, Wimbledon is two-faced. The town centre has a major rail/underground station, department store, numerous shops, leisure and entertainment centres, and a new shopping centre.

A half-mile uphill, Wimbledon Village and its surrounding area, while more thickly settled than earlier this century, is still relatively green - remarkably so given that the West End is barely 10 miles distant.

Of London's many urban villages, the one with the Wimbledon prefix doesn't merely look villagey, it is genuinely rustic, located on the edge of 1,100- acre Wimbledon Common.

"The common, communications, schools and cafe society - these are Wimbledon's main attractions, in addition to three golf courses, horseriding, tennis and sailing. You stroll through the common and arrive at a pub without using your car," says a local estate agent and long-time Wimbledon resident, Robert Holmes.

Like most affluent suburbs, SW19 has its share of four-, five- and six- bedroom houses with large gardens, but atypically, Wimbledon Village also contains mansions on estates measured in acres, not length of garden. These estates would not be out of place in deepest Kent.

"The expensive houses are owner-occupied. These large properties simply do not provide enough yield for investors, who buy flats, which are easier to let because of Wimbledon's good communications," Mr Holmes explains. "Flats are easy to manage and provide good capital growth. The nice thing about Wimbledon is that it contains a great mixture of people, and not just different nationalities, but also different classes.

"In other similar parts of Surrey, in middle England generally, everyone is a brigadier."

Mr Pither concurs: "There's an enormous range of rentals, and a lot of international renters, especially South Africans, Australians and New Zealanders. They are in banking or IT or other professions, many on two- or three-year contracts."

Wimbledon is increasingly amenable to singles. "When I started here seven years ago, there were three pubs on the Broadway," says Mr Pither. "Now there are 13.

"There is also a wide range of restaurants. Wimbledon is a very affluent and sociable area."

Wimbledon continues to score points with property developers such as Pathfinder and Laing, who are currently completing major projects both in town and near to the common. Several significant smaller projects are also in the works.

Mr Pither highlights another kind of property development: "In the last 18 months, about 10 shops have been converted back into residential. It shows the strength of the market that builders are confident enough to do this," he says.

The Low-Down

Transport

The District Line of the Tube and the overground at Wimbledon station are being joined by the Tramlink service, which will serve Croydon, Beckenham Junction and New Addington and many areas in between. Thameslink service is available at Haydon's Road, on the eastern edge of Wimbledon.

Prices

Flats start at pounds 100,000-pounds 120,000; anything cheaper will be above a shop, ex-council, on a busy road, in poor condition or has no garden, says Mr Pither. Cottages start at pounds 200,000, and three-bedroom houses in South Park Gardens can sell for pounds 275,000, but larger or better located houses can exceed pounds 500,000. Large "country" houses sell in the millions of pounds.

Anyone for renting?

Advantage to large houses near the All England Lawn Tennis Club: "For the three-week tennis championships, homeowners can get between pounds 17,000 and pounds 18,000. They can usually time their own holiday to go to their country home during the tournament," says Mr Holmes.

Town and Gown

Pathfinder's Wimbledon Central in a former BT office building has 104 apartments in three self-contained blocks across from the station. Only two flats remain, both penthouses, at pounds 390,000 and pounds 450,000. Laing's Wimbledon Parkside, formerly Southlands College, is between Queensmere and Inner Park Road, and features apartments, mews houses and town houses. Flats have one, two or three bedrooms, and most have a terrace or balcony and car parking. Prices start at pounds 245,000.

Small is beautiful

Rowan Terrace, by Heritage Property Restoration, has six refurbished terraced houses near the station; they feature large attic rooms suitable as a lounge, a bedroom or an office. Three remain at pounds 349,000. The Rydons, by Michael Shanly Homes, includes a lodge, conversion apartments and 16 new four-storey town houses, on Ridgway near the Common.

Parks

In addition to the Common, the area contains several small neighbourhood parks and recreation grounds, including the sizeable Wimbledon Park, with its own tennis courts, a large lake, an athletics track, bowling green and other facilities. Directly opposite is the celebrated All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Nguyen Van Thieu slept here

When he was in exile, the former President of South Vietnam lived in a 1927 Tudor-style house, The Chantry, which is set in an acre of landscaped gardens and includes a Japanese-style water garden and tea house. This eight-bedroom house has four reception rooms, timber beams, a stone fireplace and Jacobean panels house - and it is yours for pounds 3m through Robert Holmes & Co.

Contacts

Robert Holmes is on 0181-947 9833; Ellisons is on 0181-944 9494.

News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Sport
sport
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
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 Centre Engineer - Linux, Redhat, Solaris, SAN, Puppet

£55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: .NET Developer C#, WPF,BLL, MSMQ, SQL, GIT, SQ...

Data Centre Engineer - Linux / Redhat / Solaris / Puppet / SAN

£65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A financial software vendor at the forefro...

Business Analyst

£250 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst, Bristol, Banking, Business Obje...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape