Fulham vs. London


If you want to know why SW6 is the postcode of choice for smart people, look at the competition.

At Brik, we champion Fulham as a place to call home. And it’s not just because it’s where we ply our trade (although we don’t deny it’s a factor), it’s because we truly believe this green and pleasant land that sits warmly by the side of the mighty Thames in West London is one of the best places in London.

It’s well connected, the property is of a very high and varied standard, you can be in the centre of London in less than 30-mins, there are bars, pubs, restaurants and shops to satisfy the most cosmopolitan of tastes. There are first rate schools for any age, and leafy squares to stretch the family legs.

And if you want to get away from the city, you can zoom out in your car, or get to Gatwick or Heathrow with relative ease. It’s ace, it’s friendly and you’re going to love it. But if you’re still unsure, just look at the prices compared to some of the other areas in London these days.

Significant price rises a few years back sent a wave out across London that has seen incomparable areas catch up significantly with Fulham making it now look like great value.

Flat (avg): £760,573
Terraced house (avg): £1,629,596

Why Fulham?
Property in Fulham has generally weathered any major changes to the market, with comparatively minimal shifts up and down in price. And with the broad spread of properties, from new builds to the terraces of Munster Village and on to the impressive and highly sought after Lion Houses’ of the Peterborough Estate, there’s something to suit most buyers.

There’s also a healthy rental market for any prospective buy-to-let shoppers, with a community of young professionals eschewing the more corporate areas of the City for the leafy community of Fulham. Long story short, investing in property in Fulham is as safe a bet as you can play in the capital, and you never know, you might well fall in love with the area.

Flat (avg): £1,401,495
Terraced house (avg): £2,138,706

Why Chelsea?
Chelsea has history, and a lot of it. From the bohemia of the swinging sixties, to the punks of the World’s End and on to the Sloane Rangers of the 80s and 90s, the area has been home to some of London’s most vibrant movements, and it shows. Walk down the King’s Road (built to connect the palace at Whitehall with Hampton Court) and you’ll rub shoulders with tourists, traders and a colourful collection of locals, some of whom were born and bred, while others have made the area their home.

But, while Chelsea still boasts plenty of culture, good schools and great connections, it has become something of a money pit with the numbers of vacant properties bought by overseas buyers on the rise pushing up prices and threatening to erode the community. The numbers also tell a very different story. Long story short: your hard earned cash will go a lot further if you just head a few streets over.

Flat (avg): £655,616
Terraced house (avg): £803,313

Why Tooting?
This South London area towards the bottom of the Northern Line has had something of a renaissance over the last few years. South London die-hards who’ve been priced out of Clapham and Balham have ventured further south. And with the vibrant culture, good food, scenic common and great connections (Charing Cross in 25mins on the Northern Line) it’s appeal is obvious.

But look a bit closer and you’ll see that property has already become overvalued, especially when you consider that the average price of a flat is biting at the heels of an equivalent Fulham property.

Flat (avg): £3,316,136
Terraced house (avg): £4,978,602

Why Knightsbridge?
For many people, Knightsbridge is an area that embodies a certain kind of London lifestyle. Yes, it’s an expensive one, but it’s also one that is plugged into the heart of the city and global scene.

Work and play aren’t separate things, and for residents of Knightsbridge, a journey home means short car ride or even a walk through some of the capitals most impressive and architecturally rich areas. Look past the boutiques and Michelin starred restaurants and there are schools, too, and green spaces. But all of this comes at a price which is beyond the means of many, and with the trend for foreign investment in empty properties, the area can sometimes feel either like a ghost town or a tourist attraction, depending on what time of day it is.

Flat (avg): £798,922
Terraced house (avg): £1,847,862

Why Camden?
For some an NW1 postcode is a badge of honour, and for others it’s a sign of hell. This Marmite area of London has divided the capital for years. For anyone who grew up in the capital or perhaps spent some of their youth here, the area was unavoidable and often great fun thanks to mixture of music venues and pleasingly tatty pubs. But now the high-street is something of a tourist trap. However, venture away from the piercing parlours and you’ll quickly find yourself in some of North London’s most scenic streets.

Imposing Victorian terraces mix with the odd semi and even detached homes, often boasting impressive gardens for you to enjoy the sound of the lions in London Zoo flexing their vocal chords. But it’s expensive, and really good properties are rare in the area. Have patience and you might be rewarded but it’s a big bill to swallow for an area that is seen by some as still being a bit tatty.

Flat (avg): £491,800
Terraced house (avg): £951,570

Why Hackney?
Say the word Hackney to anyone who doesn’t live in the area and they’ll probably picture a hipster paradise of odd coffees, top knots and tattoos, but this does the area a huge disservice. The area really is a vibrant creative community filled with artists who sought cheap spaces with good natural light and strong communities serving up a rainbow of delicious foods from all over the world. Ridley road market is a London institution that welcomes all and sells some of the nicest treats in the capital.

There’s also plenty of strong property, with large terraced and semi-detached house regularly cropping up on the market as people sell up and ship out to cool coastal towns such as Margate and Whitstable to start a family, leaving it open for newcomers or people looking for a change.

But, and there’s always a but, the property is sometimes expensive for what it is. And if you don’t work for a start-up or trendy ad agency, the commute can be a long haul. And some areas of East London, such as Shoreditch, have lost a lot of character in favour of cheap drinks and late-night bars that have become favourites of stag and hen dos. Spend a bit of time in the area and see it in the day and night.

Of course London is a quilt of areas each with their own brand, appealing to different people. Fulham fits into this diverse jigsaw of habitation like any other. However as prices and trends driven by the press, new transport links, work spaces and even the latest coffee shop fluctuate across the capital it’s important to keep your head on price. And Fulham is looking like good value at the moment, comparatively speaking.