Move over west London; the go-to spot for first time buyers, young families, and downsizers looking for homes in leafy, community spirited neighbourhoods with great transport links and lots to do has firmly shifted to the southeast of the capital.
In recent years buyers have said cheerio to Clapham and bade Balham goodbye, and are investing in the good value, up and coming options along the London Overground line from Canada Water towards Crystal Palace.
Sydenham was once little more than a country hamlet set amongst ancient woodland, which briefly enjoyed fame as a 17th century health spa because the water drawn from Wells Park was considered to have healing powers.
It was not until the 19th century that it began to evolve into a bustling suburb with the arrival of the railways and Victorians fell for the neighbourhood’s same mix of convenience and leafiness which still tempts buyers today.
Open space is one of the area’s greatest strengths. Beckenham Palace Park, with its open air swimming lake is just over half a mile’s walk away, and a real gem. Its 242-acres encompasses woodland, grassland and one of London’s only purpose-built swimming lakes, and two cafes. Regular events include yoga classes and craft workshops, while Croydon Road Recreation Ground adds tennis courts and a summer paddling pool.
And the iconic Crystal Palace Park, with its dinosaur statues, sports centre, and weekend food stalls, is two miles to the west.
On a practical note, the standard of the local schools are high – the overwhelming majority hold “good” reports from Ofsted, the Government’s schools’ watchdog.
And transport links are excellent. Lower Sydenham overground station (Zone 4) has fast services to the City and commuters can get to Waterloo, Canary Wharf, or Bond Street in around half an hour.
Weston Homes is about to start work on a tranche of contemporary homes just a couple of minutes’ walk from the station, with a resident’s garden extending down towards the Pool River where a new river walk will be created.
Sydenham’s de facto high street is the rapidly-improving Sydenham Road, where stylish new independent cafes and restaurants like Sugahill and 161 Food & Drink are starting to take the place of takeaways. Ignition Brewery offers specialty beer plus live music, while the Burger Shack at The Wood House pub is a cute spot to enjoy a gourmet burger whilst sitting in a heated hut playing board games.
Sydenham is a community minded sort of place, with an annual arts festival, and active tennis and cricket clubs, while you can work off your morning coffee and Danish with a cycle ride along the River Pool or at The Bridge Leisure Centre, which has swimming pools, a gym, football, and a yoga studio.
Sydenham Arts brings a dash of culture to the area, with annual summer festivals, free craft workshops, an art trail, poetry readings, and film screenings.
For movie buffs there is an Everyman cinema in Crystal Palace. Alternatively, you could catch a show at the Bridge House Theatre or have a stand-up comedy giggle at The Poodle club.
Launching Spring 2023, Dylon Riverside will offer 254 apartments across two buildings with first homes being able for occupation in Autumn/Winter 2024.
Guide prices are:
1 bedroom apartments from £357,000 – £381,000
2 bedroom apartments from £457,000 – £501,000
3 bedroom apartments from £546,000 – £596,000
There are a limited number of 1 bedroom apartments available through Discount Market Sale. Guide prices are £250,000 – £270,000.