In many ways, Brixton is the capital of south London.
With its excellent transport links into central London and exhaustive range of shopping, dining and nightlife options, if you didn’t have to work, you probably wouldn’t need to leave. It even has its own currency. Over 250 businesses accept the Brixton Pound and around £50,000 was traded on its electronic platform last year.
Originally a middle-class suburb, it was also home to Britain’s first purpose-built department store Morley’s – established in 1880 – London’s first Marks & Spencer and the first ever British Homes Store. These days, hip young professionals are most likely to be spotted supping a cocktail in the rejuvenated Brixton Village, or picking up some scotch bonnets in Market Row.
“The demographic of buyers in Brixton has changed dramatically over the last four to five years,” says Jimmy Carr, sales manager at estate agent KFH in Clapham. “It’s gone from being Clapham North’s poorer relation to overtaking demand levels... The buyers profile tends to be cash rich parents buying for their children.”
“Eight of the 10 most expensive streets lie to the south of the Tube, with more seven figures sales in SW2 during the last two years than in the previous 20 combined.”
Luke Tubb, a sales manager at Foxtons Brixton refers to the area as “the new Shoreditch”, adding, “We are seeing more City professionals moving to the area. Both first time buyers and those looking to upsize, originally looking in Battersea and Vauxhall, but wanting to get more value for money, often end up in Brixton.”
This has undoutedbly pushed up property prices in the area, which now stand at £550,000 on average. Prices have doubled in the past five years, while house price growth has slowed, increasing by 0.1 per cent year-on-year since 2012.
Yet if you look in the right places, you’ll find some particularly affluent pockets. David Fell, research analyst at Hamptons International says, “Eight of the 10 most expensive streets lie to the south of the Tube, with more seven figures sales in SW2 during the last two years than in the previous 20 combined.”
In the streets surrounding Effra Road, Brixton Academy and the Brixton end of Stockwell Road, garden flats go for a £100,000 premium and Victorian family houses easily reach £1.3m.
When it comes to areas to look out for, Gabriel Cunningham, manager at Dexters on Clapham High Street, says, “Further towards Loughborough Junction is favourable due to lower average prices and a spate of regeneration of the local area currently being undertaken by private and public entities.”
He’s referring to the regeneration of Somerleyton Estate, where 300 new homes and a theatre are planned, the redevelopment of old council buildings and the construction of nearly 1,300 new homes along Brixton Hill over the next five years.
Hamptons International research shows that 23 per cent of all homes sold in Brixton last year were new builds, a large number of which are “low rise council blocks that have been demolished and rebuilt at twice the density.”
When all is said and done though, it’s the area’s buzzing high street, hopping bars and talent for breeding trendy foodie chains like Franco Manca and Honest Burgers, that have made Brixton such a draw for young professionals in recent years.
If you’re looking for a five star coffee, San Marino Breakfasts is the oldest family-run cafe in town, serving delicious breakfasts and a range of hot panini throughout the day. Or wait until after dark and head to The Duke of Edinburgh pub, which has a BBQ pit like no other in its beloved beer garden, with food served straight from the fire – you can even play some crazy-golf on the newly-renovated nine holes. Brixton Village sells a wide range of international foods, with shops and market stalls offering produce from just about anywhere else you can think of. After you’ve satisfied your hunger, you may want to visit Pop Brixton, an initiative that has transformed an unused plot of land into a bustling showcase of local businesses. It’s the perfect place to take part in a free Tai Chi or yoga class. The Ritzy Cinema boasts a wide-range of entertainment, from films downstairs to music, comedy and even dance workshops in the versatile Upstairs at the Ritzy space.
House prices Source: Zoopla
Transport Source: TfL
Time to King’s Cross: 16 mins
Time to Liverpool Street: 24 mins
Nearest train station: Brixton
Best roads Source: Hamptons International
Most Expensive: Stockwell Park Crescent: £1,501,875
Most Affordable: Gresham Road: £250,098
|Looking for a new home? City A.M. Homes & Interiors features London's hottest properties|