Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SW London Tops Property Hotspots; Average Prices Soar Past [Pounds Sterling]1m from Clapham to Wimbledon

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

SW London Tops Property Hotspots; Average Prices Soar Past [Pounds Sterling]1m from Clapham to Wimbledon

Article excerpt

Byline: Mira Bar-Hillel Property Correspondent

SOUTH-WEST London has become the hottest property market in the country with asking prices soaring more than nine per cent in the first three months of the year.

Agents say records are being regularly smashed in the "golden quarter" as City professionals priced out of more central districts such as Kensington opt to stay in the capital's leafier neighbourhoods rather than decamp to the countryside.

Leading the pack is Wandsworth, where asking prices rose 12.8 per cent and Merton, up 8.3 per cent.

The average prices in the best streets -- defined as prime -- are now above [pounds sterling]1million in an increasingly wide swathe of south-west London from Clapham to Wimbledon.

They now stand at [pounds sterling]1,132,263 in Merton (Wimbledon) and [pounds sterling]1,021,727 in Wandsworth, while an increase of 10.6 per cent has raised the Richmond figure to [pounds sterling]988,126.

Nigel Lewis, property analyst at primelocation.com, who collected the figures, said: "South-west London is currently the jewel in London's prime market, with records being broken on an almost monthly basis.

"Four months ago, prime prices in Merton broke the [pounds sterling]1 million barrier, followed by Wandsworth the month before last. Richmond looks close to follow, with prices currently just shy of the mark.

"Buyers are beginning to baulk at the even higher asking prices in central London, and looking for better value for money slightly further out, which sellers are getting wise to."

This theory is confirmed by a dip in the top asking prices in Kensington and Chelsea by 6.2 per cent to a new average of [pounds sterling]2,500,543, while in Hammersmith and Fulham they fell by 5.1 per cent to [pounds sterling]1,451,073.

Miles Shipside of Rightmove said: "The strength of the top-end and international markets in London has been well documented.

"We are now seeing signs that this is beginning to spill over into the 'better' inner suburbs, with the best areas 'going international' and moving out of many Londoners' reach.

"Other neigbourhoods are now attracting buyers who do not have the seemingly bottomless pockets of some of the elite overseas clientele, but still want to invest. …

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