PECKHAM has come a long way since Del Boy and Rodney. The Nag’s Head might still be there, but these days you’re more likely to bump into artists making things than cockney geezers on the make. And it isn’t just artists. Parts of Peckham are actually quite posh now. Bellenden village, with its smart pubs, artisan food shops and elegant Georgian terraces, has won over professionals and yummy mummies who wouldn’t have looked past leafy Dulwich a couple of years ago.
Since Peckham’s rebirth, property prices have soared. “Peckham, has seen an increase of 20.9 per cent in property prices in the last year,” says Jason Davis, sales manager of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Peckham branch. “In 2012 we sold a three bedroom house on Sturdy Road for £442,000, measuring in the region of 1,020sqft. In 2013 a similarly sized property sold on the same road for £550,000, while in May this year another home of that size on the same street sold for £642,000. This represents a 45 per cent increase over two years.”
The increase is a consequence of demand from young families drawn to the wide selection of good local schools and green spaces like Peckham Rye park. The pubs are major a selling point, too. Local favourites The Montpelier and The Rye always have a great atmosphere on Friday nights. But if there’s one business responsible for putting SE15 on the map more than any other, it’s Frank’s, the bar on top of Peckham Multi-Storey Car Park. Since opening in 2007 it has graduated from south east London art students’ worst kept secret to a drinking destination featured on the pages of British Airways’ in-flight magazine (leading to many visits from perplexed Chinese tourists). With cheap cocktails, great food and unbeatable views of the whole of London, it’s one of the best bars south of the river.
Destinations like Frank’s and Rooftop Cinema have kept Peckham in vogue while the area continues to benefit from being on the Overground network. Researchers at Hamptons International predict that, despite early signs of house price growth slowing next year, Peckham will continue to outperform the London average.