Landlord News

More to Wimbledon than the All England Club

Em Morley - June 30, 2015

With all eyes on SW19 in arguably the most iconic fortnight in the British sporting calendar, property investors are looking past the Pimms, strawberries and Maria Sharapova to see the other side of Wimbledon.

Boasting large properties, good local schools and a picturesque village full of greenery, the south-west London hotspot offers a lot more than the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Costly

As is the norm, desirable locations such as Wimbledon come at a hefty price. The average property price in the village is £745,516, equating to £157,403 more expensive than the average property cost in the capital. What’s more, prices have soared quicker than an Andy Murray ace, rising by £174,988 since 2010.[1]

‘There was a hiccup with the election but we have been busier since then,’ said Edward Foley, owner of Winkworth in the village. ‘Demand is good. We get a lot of interest from people in Battersea and Fulham. They come to Wimbledon because they get more for their money in terms of property. They also come for the greenery, space for parking and that country feel,’ he added.[2]

At present, the most-costly streets in Wimbledon are Highbury Road and Parkside Avenue, where prices will set purchasers back a cool £6,249,116 and £6,145,871 respectively. Perhaps Mr Djokovic will be interested to know that the highest-value property currently on the market in Wimbledon Village is a seven-bed mansion, for £8,850,000. You cannot be serious?

Changing dynamic

The buyer landscape in SW19 is changing. British buyers still make up the bulk of the interested parties but there are a number of overseas investors looking to capitalise in the thriving market. Potential investors from nations such as Russia, India and China are said to looking into buying property in the area.

‘There is an increasing proportion of overseas buyers in the area,’ explains John Keeble, associate director of Hamptons International. ‘We have a lot of Chinese coming in and they’re interested in both houses and flats. We also have Norwegians, Germans and 2 per cent of the population is from South Africa. It’s a bit of everything.’[3]

Mr Foley noted that, ‘if you go to certain parts of the world, most people have heard of Wimbledon. It is world famous for tennis so overseas buyers feel comfortable with it. A lot of foreign buyers view buying a property in Wimbledon as a long-term investment but use it for immediate occupation. Overseas interest in Wimbledon has greater in the last six months.’[4]

More to Wimbledon than the All England Club

More to Wimbledon than the All England Club

Short-term opportunity

During the two weeks of the tournament, there are many opportunities for short-term lets. A growing number of homeowners are renting out their homes for the duration of the Championships, choosing to go on holiday, often paid for by rent being gained by the tennis fans letting their home.

Nicola Clark, lettings manager of John D Wood and Co’s Southfields branch, commented that, ‘in general, ‘the pricing for a short term let is higher than a long let. For the Wimbledon season, tenants expect all facilities to be provided in the property, including fully equipped, fully furnished rooms. This will even include crockery and bedding/linens, with bills included as well as satellite television and maid service.’[5]

She continued by saying, ‘typically, the lets are only for the two weeks of Wimbledon itself. Short-term lets during Wimbledon remain constant, as both players and visitors alike often prefer a real home to a hotel environment.’[6]

Neighbours

Demand for property in Wimbledon’s less illustrious neighbor Southfields is also on the rise. Prices in the town are now averaging £629,010, an increase of £156,188 over the last five years.[7]

Head of Sales for John D Wood & Co in Southfields Jonathan Loneysaid, ‘Southfields has long been a hidden gem, found more by accident than design, by buyers looking in the more established areas of Putney and Wimbledon. As demand in London has continued to outstrip supply, Southfields has suddenly found itself on more and more purchasers’ radars. Offering a great community feel with the green spaces of Wimbledon Park, great local shops and prominent schools, this popularity is bound to continue to grow.’[8]

Continuing, Loney stated, ‘the post-election bounce in Southfields is leading to higher sale prices and there are certainly good signs that prices are likely to steady increase in the next year to eighteen months.’ He feels that, ‘the Southfields Grid with its family Edwardian homes, is still the area of choice. However, there is also increasing demand for family homes in the Pulborough Triangle – an area of five roads just down from the station – and ‘Gardens’ area of Southfields – Gartmor GardensSouthdean Gardens and Kingscliffe Gardens, next to Wimbledon Park, which are seeing increases in popularity.[9]

All in all then, Wimbledon and its neighbours offer a clean winner of a property market.

[1] http://www.primelocation.com/discover/property-news/playing-the-property-grand-slam-in-wimbledon-29-06-15/#2xDR8yRdVWR01zRx.97