Moving out to the sticks to start a family is hardly a new phenomenon, but the rapid rise of inner city house prices means more people are re-evaluating where the sticks start and the rat race begins. As a result, areas like Beckenham, once the preserve of the affluent suburban family, are starting to appeal to a much wider spectrum of buyers.
“It was the London borough of Bromley’s best kept secret,” says Dominic Butler from Foxton’s Beckenham branch, “but now we’re getting people from right across the board interested. One of the reasons we’ve managed to avoid the recent cooling down of the market is because it’s still relatively cheaper than other areas. We tend to get people from south west and east London moving out for more space and gardens, from places like Greenwich, Blackheath and Balham.”
Beckenham Place Park
Indeed, Hamptons International puts the average property price at around £430,000, a whole £70,000 below the London average. House prices have increased by a healthy 15 per cent in the last 12 months, and with a wide variety of properties making up the housing stock, from contemporary studio flats to traditional family homes, so it’s unlikely to stay under the radar for much longer. Developer Linden Homes has already invested heavily in the area, building a collection of 48 detached family homes in anticipation of an influx. Darren Maddox, managing director of south east sales at Linden, says: “Househunters disappointed by the prices in Dulwich, for instance, are among the buyers looking towards Beckenham. As more and more people find out about the area, prices are only going to increase.”
Most of its primary schools are rated either “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted, with Langley Park School for Boys and Langley Park School for Girls continuing to bump up house prices in their catchment area.
St George's Church which dates back to 1100AD
The future is only set to get brighter, too, with the potential for nearby Croydon to bring 23,500 new jobs to the area by 2031 after Chancellor George Osborne
gave the go-ahead for it to be named a “growth zone” in the Autumn Statement. But until then, the area has excellent commuter links into the City (via Blackfriars) and the West End (via Victoria) with no less than five trains stations in the vicinity.
Such promise is bringing more young professionals to the area than ever before. Claire Basing Lawson at Hamptons International (a Beckehnham local herself) says there is an array of independent restaurants to enjoy, such as La Rascasse and Q Bar & Kitchen, coffee shops like Fee & Brown, gastropubs like Chancery, as well as a healthy nightlife scene. “In the past, Beckenham has been outshone by its showier south east London sisters, but as young professionals spill outwards, Beckenham is sure to be hot on the horizon.”
FIVE REASONS TO MOVE TO BECKENHAM
1 You can get a lot more for your money living in Beckenham. With some three bedroom houses coming in at less than the London average for a one-bedroom flat, you can’t afford not to move there.
2 It may not be on the tube, but its links to five National Rail networks mean you can still be at your desk in the City in 45 minutes, door-to-door. There are also plenty of London bus services and trams via Croydon.
3 It may be suburbia, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had its fair share of showbiz personalities over the years, including Julie Andrews, comedian Bob Monkhouse and Ziggy Stardust himself David Bowie.
4 There’s lots of green space to go for a kick about at the weekend, such as Kelsey Park, Cater Park and Beckenham Place Park, which forms part of the South East London Green Chain and boasts its own golf club.
5 There’s lots of arts and culture to explore. Beckenham Festival of Music and Dancing takes place every November, the six-screen Odeon cinema is Grade-II listed and Beckenham Theatre stages productions throughout the year.
PRIVATE VIEW: ON THE MARKET IN BECKENHAM
33 HAYES WAY £859,000
This four bedroom family home is situated in the much sought after area of Park Langley, a conservation area that’s in the catchment area of the popular Langley Park schools. Available with off-street parking, it also has three reception rooms and a landscaped garden to the rear.
Contact sales agent Helen Wood at Savills Bromley for more information by calling 01689 866 999.
RECTORY ROAD £550,000
Located on the second floor, this apartment has the flexibility for two or three bedrooms, two of which are ensuite. A balcony provides outdoor space while the loft provides storage space and it’s close to the heart of Beckenham with its mainline station, tram and high street shopping.
For viewings, call sales agent Kinleigh, Folkard and Hayward’s Beckenham branch on 020 8650 8268.
CENTURY GATE from £699,995 for a three bedroom house
Linden Homes has built this collection of 48 detached three, four and five bedroom houses in a gated community. The homes on Worsley Bridge Road are well placed for shopping on Beckenham High Street and they’re within 14 to 20 minutes walk of four railway stations, so they’re ideal for commuters with families.
For more information on the development, call Linden Homes on 0844 488 1802 or visit lindenhomes.co.uk.
LOCAL AREA PRICES