Southfields joins Balham in ‘top places to live list’

Published: Monday 30th September 13

Southfields and Balham are among the best places to live in London according to a study carried out by The Sunday Times.

It is the second plaudit in just a few months for Balham, which was named earlier this as one of the most sought after places to live in the country, according to research by a leading firm of estate agents.

Both areas boast attractive leafy streets, beautiful green open spaces, good shops, good transport links and great local schools.

The newspaper looked at the best places to live within the zone 3 tube map.

Southfields was named as the best for "ambitious parents". It said the area was increasingly popular with "couples and families upsizing from Fulham, Putney and Chiswick flats", and that it enjoyed "a good community spirit, a friendly atmosphere and plenty of green space.

But, the paper added, "the real pull is cracking state education."

Balham, it said was best for "exiles from central London". It said residents were flooding into the area from Fulham, Pimlico and Islington "in search of better value and lifestyle."

It added: "Balham now has an array of cute boutique and independent shops and is close to Wandsworth Common."

In July leading estate agency haart said that more people were trying to buy homes in Balham than anywhere else.

The company found there were 46 registered buyers for every property in the SW12 postcode, compared with a London-wide average of 19 to one and a national figure of eight to one.

Agents said property prices in Balham offered great value for money to buyers, while the growing stature of boutique shops, bars and restaurants in its town centre was also a big pull.

Paul Smith, the company's chief executive described Balham as "a kind of new Notting Hill - the hip south-of-the-river enclave."

Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "It will come as no surprise to people living in Southfields and Balham that the rest of world is quickly waking up to their attractions.

"Both have great local schools and shops and both are very close to the kinds of wide open green spaces that are key priorities for young families. The bus and tube links are excellent too.

"Crime rates in the borough are the lowest in inner London, while local services are ranked among the best in the country.

"Combine these important factors with the fact that Wandsworth has the lowest average council tax bills in the UK and it's no surprise why these areas are so popular."

Wandsworth's current Band D council tax bill is £684. This compares to an average Band D bill in London of more than £1,300.

People are already talking about why they love living in Wandsworth. To find out more about the council's ambitions to make the borough Britain's best and to see what other people are saying - visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/lovewandsworth.

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