The emergence of Carshalton and the wider London Borough of Sutton as an “area of choice” for property buyers over the past two years is due to a number of differing factors:
Firstly, and simply put, it’s a nice place to live! We have great transport links to London (28 minutes from Carshalton to London Victoria on the fast train), plenty of “Green Spaces”, good shopping and recreational facilities, you can be sitting in a nice country pub in the leafy Surry countryside in about 20 minutes, whilst figures from March 2013 reported that Sutton is the third safest borough in London in terms of crime rates, only behind Richmond & Bexley.
However, these things alone only tell part of the story, with as much as 50% of new buyers moving into the Borough for the first time, doing so because of the excellence of the local education facilities. Most estate agents would accept that traditionally a plethora of good local schools inevitably leads to faster rising prices in the “good times” and somewhat “buffers” local house prices when the market is in decline – this phenomenon is relatively well known - but what has been interesting over the last two/three years has been the area that these buyers have been moving from.
At Silverman Black, we have certainly noticed the increasing numbers of buyers from the more “upmarket” areas, such as Balham, Clapham, Battersea and even Putney – attracted to the area because of the quality of life, access to London, but largely due to the excellent local Primary and Secondary Schools.
Of course, partially these buyers looking “further afield” will be due to them being priced out of their local marketplaces when they need larger homes, but in the past buyers “priced out” of Clapham moved to Balham, and more latterly when priced out of Balham, have moved to Tooting – areas immediately south of their “preferred” locations, “gentrifying” these areas as they go.
However, currently, many buyers seem to be ignoring Mitcham & Morden, jumping over the London Borough of Merton, to alight in Sutton, despite Merton having equal (if not superior) transport links to the City and also being listed within the Top 10 Safest Boroughs in London!
This must largely be due to the educational facilities with Primary Schools such a Barrow Hedges, All Saints, Stanley Park Juniors and Bandon Hill, and Secondary Schools such a St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls, Wallington High School for Girls, John Fisher, Wilsons, Wallington County Grammar School for Boys, Sutton Grammar and Stanley Park High (to name but a few) drawing families of all ages into the area, raising awareness and the reputation of Carshalton, and having a dramatic effect on local house prices.