Metro: Be primed on a coveted location
Wed 24 Apr 2013
WANDSWORTH: THIS WEEK METRO MOVES SOUTH-WEST TO THE CAPITAL'S LEAST TAXING PLACE TO LIVE BY ANDREA DEAN
WANDSWORTH is frequently referred to as 'prime London' by property pundits. The grid of streets off Wandsworth Common - known as the toast rack due to its shape from above - contains some of the most sought-after houses south of the river. Affluent families aspire to affors the rambling, period villas and a smattering of celebrities including Gordon Ramsay, Jack Dee and Johnny Vaughan live here.
Residents benefit from good schools, England's lowest average council tax bills and fast train journeys to work - less than 15 minutes into Waterloo from Wandsworth Road (Zone 2, from where an annual Travelcard into Zone 1 costs 1,216) and to Victoria from Wandsworth Common (Zone 3, from where an annual Travelcard into Zone 1 costs 1,424).
'Architecturally, Wandsworth is dominated by Victorian houses, most of which remain as family homes or have been converted from flats back into houses,' says James Weston of John D Wood & Co estate agents. 'The property market is very schools-orientated with family houses within the catchment area of Allfarthing and Swaffield primary schools commanding a premium.
'Over the past few years we have seen higher demand for places at the schools because of the recession, resulting in the shrinking of the catchment areas and increased competition for homes within them.
'We usually have interest from 15 to 20 applicants per property who are willing to compromise on their ideal home as long as they can be sure their children will get into the school of their choice.'
Expect to pay between 350,000 and 500,000 for a two-bed flat, 500,00 to 750,000 for a three-bed and from 800,000 to in excess of 3million for a four or five-bed family house, with a few properties higher still.
On the rentals side, Robert Nicols of Edmund Cude and Bushells estate agents is finding that top-end properties are getting hard to shift.
'People renting at the level of 1,000 plus per week are feeling the squeeze more than others,' he says. 'One to three-bed homes have done very well and landlords can expect a healthy four to five per cent yield. Average rental prices are 325 a week for one-bed flats, 500 for two-beds and 650 for three-beds.'
Along Bellevue Road, Wandsworth Common's main shopping street, a villagey atmosphere prevails in the independant stores, upmarket chains and tastefully decorated cafs where everyone seems to know each other. Here too is Chez Bruce restaurant, formerly Harvey's, where Marco Pierre White once reduced protg Gordon Ramsay to tears.
Wandsworth town centre has a more down-to-earth feel. The Southside Shopping Centre has had a facelift and, along with a Waitrose, 14-screen Cineworld and Virgin Active health club, is home to dozens of fashion chains. Owner Metro Shopping Fund recently announced it will be joined by Debenhams, the town's first department store. This will kick-start 40million of further redevelopment, due for completi0on in 2015.
The congested and confusing one-way system is also due for a makeover. Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, says: 'The council's next priority is to tackle the one-way system and talks are now underway with Transport for London on how we can re-channel the traffic away from the high street. Old York Road has flourished since it was taken off the main through route and the same results can be achieved on Wandsworth High Street.'
ACROSS Wandsworth, an unprecendented level of redevelopment is taking place, as old industrial sites in the town centre and along the river are being transformed into new homes and public spaces.
The largest project is the historical Ram Brewery which, although closed, still contains a micro-brewery. Developer Minerva has submitted plans to Wandsworth Council proposing a mixed-use scheme including 669 homes and restoration of the heritage buildings.
The Filaments - on the site of an old gas mantle factory - is another major scheme, from Mount Anvil. Due for completion in 2015, its five buildings will include 416 homes, of which 340 will for private sale.
This summer, construction of apartments in One Riverside, the latest phase of the residential Riverside Quarter scheme, will be completed, closely followed by neighbouring Three Riverside. Two-bed apartments start at 500,000 through Savills. Taylor Wimpey is soon to launch apartment cheme Radius, also at Riverside Quarter.
At Barratt London's Osiers development on Osiers Road, two-bed apartments in the latest phase, Severn House, start at 460,000. On the same street, Marsh & Parsons is marketing four lateral warehouse-style apartments and on etownhouse in a converted office building, from 899,995.
Later this year, L&Q will launch The Schoolyard, a selection of 119 one, two and three-bed apartments on Yok Road, while Octavia Living is introducing a range of one-bed apartments at Wandsworth Village on Broomhill Road, with two-bed homes expected in 2014. Prices for shared-ownership properties should start at around 60,000 based on a 25 per cent share of the full market value 240,000.