Hot Spot: Coombe and New Malden, Surrey

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Many empty-nesters who up sticks in Wimbledon flee Surrey altogether, exchanging the suburban life either for whole-hog rusticity in Hampshire and other nearby rural counties, or for the delights of city-centre living.

Many empty-nesters who up sticks in Wimbledon flee Surrey altogether, exchanging the suburban life either for whole-hog rusticity in Hampshire and other nearby rural counties, or for the delights of city-centre living.

But the options for Wimbledon families with children are limited by considerations of schools, among other factors. Many growing families who need roomier homes and want more greenery and quieter, safer roads, move a few streets and a world away, to Coombe.

That move is socio-economically logical and geologically convenient, and the two areas are often linked. But Coombe contains relatively few properties, most being seven-figure propositions. So it should be twinned with another neighbour, New Malden, where you can buy a flat and get plenty of change from £100,000.

"Coombe is mostly large family houses," says John 'Nouri, of Robert Holmes estate agents. "The area contains only one development of flats, built by Octagon 10 years ago, and these sell for £300,000 upwards. The majority of homes were built in the 1930s and have five bedrooms with good entertainment facilities."

With no trendy shops or quaint village to attract visitors or loiterers, Coombe appeals "to politicians, footballers and others in the public eye who want to be secluded," says Mr 'Nouri. "They want to be able to wash their car without prying eyes and cameras on them. Wimbledon does not give them that kind of privacy."

Chris Hart, of Knight Frank estate agents, says Coombe used to be populated primarily by Wimbledon upgraders, but "the scarcity of good properties through London and increasing frustration are forcing people from all over to consider Coombe. Before, it had to be Wimbledon Village and only Wimbledon Village."

He adds: "The A3 is a physical barrier, and there is a psychological barrier between Wimbledon Village and Coombe Hill. You get more space and bigger gardens, and the properties are cheaper in Coombe. It has been undersold and undervalued, and it is due to soar soon."

Guy Leaning of Lords says New Malden, the poor person's Coombe, "attracts people for schools, and because it is cheaper than Kingston or Wimbledon but just as convenient".

New Malden has a local service into Waterloo. This hardly compares with Wimbledon's combined mainline-Underground service, or with Kingston's solid transportation links, but it does give you standard mainline access.

Prices are rising, Mr Leaning says. "Last year there was an increase of 25 to 28 per cent in some areas. This year, Halifax projects an 8 per cent national average. New Malden should double that."

Comments