Buyers looking for a bigger house while reducing costs are playing the property market like a game of chess to save up to £500,000, according to leading estate agents Winkworth.
Dominic Agace, Chief Executive of Winkworth, with more than 100 offices nationwide, including over 60 across the capital, told the latest episode of The Property Exchange, Winkworth’s podcast: “We call it the Queen’s Park Gambit where people move from areas such as Notting Hill and Kensington to Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise. They want a period family home in an interesting area so they make a sideways move. We see this right across London – Highbury off the back of Islington, Crystal Palace instead of Dulwich, Shepherd’s Bush rather than Hammersmith.”
Stewart Boyd, of Winkworth Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise office, said: “We see a lot of clients from Notting Hill. They may be a growing family who would be looking at a flat of around 1000 sq ft in Notting Hill where they would pay £1.5m to £2m. In Queen’s Park, you could buy a four bedroom house for a similar amount. We also see families from Notting Hill whose children may be about to leave the nest. They can buy a similar sized house in Queen’s Park for half the price, which enables them to release finance and reduce debt. We also see people moving from Queen’s Park to Kensal Rise because it is slightly more affordable.”
Another favourite move on the property chess board is a sideways shift from Clapham and Battersea to Tooting.
Charlie Mitchell, of Winkworth’s Tooting office, said: “People can save as much as half a million pounds by moving sideways. They are still in Wandsworth borough where council tax is a huge saving but you have that perfect blend of a south-west London neighbourhood – great commons at Tooting Bec and Wandsworth, lovely independent shops and restaurants and the amazing range of street food, drinks and clothes in Tooting Market. The area has outstanding primary schools and highly rated secondary schools, both state and independent. Transport links are good, with the Northern line and the Overground.
“The housing stock is mainly Edwardian and Victorian houses, especially in Tooting Bec. Tooting Broadway is good for first time buyers, with purpose-built maisonettes, offering lots of space and scope to convert lofts. You can pick up a fantastic one bedroom flat for around £350,000. A two up, two down house would be around £650,000 and with a double-fronted family house for around £1.5m – which would be around £2.5m in Balham or Clapham. Furzedown is a hidden gem and feels like a village. You could pay around £1.3m for a 3,000 sq ft house. If you picked it up and moved it to Clapham, it would be around £2m.”