Streatham and its attached postcode, SW16, is an up-and-coming residential hotspot in south-west London, where prices are still below capital’s average.

SW16 covers the Streatham area of south west London. Centred around Streatham High Road – a section of the A23, which heads south from central London – it lies just eight miles from the City itself.

As well as London’s ubiquitous Victorian terraces, the streets are lined with some fine examples of Edwardian and inter-war architecture.

Living in SW16: what to expect

Once a key stop on the Roman road to Brighton, Streatham became renowned for the healing powers of its natural springs in the 18th century, with its spa drawing in crowds of wealthy London merchants.

By the early 20th century, it boasted a theatre, ballroom, ice rink and three cinemas – as well as a reputation for being the ‘West End of South London’.

Nowadays, Streatham retains a vibrant atmosphere along with a culturally diverse community, good transport links, green spaces and a busy high street.

But it’s also more affordable than nearby Balham, Clapham and Brixton and has been attracting young professionals and families priced out of those areas.

Much of the family draw is its schools: the Henry Cavendish Primary School, Graveney Secondary School and ‘all-through’ Dunraven School have been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, with several others rated ‘good’. Private schools are also available nearby.

Sunset over south London

Where to start your property search

Streatham has grown with each new development, from arrival of the railway in 1856 to the introduction of the electric tram after WWI.

It’s for this reason that it offers a range of housing styles, from Victorian and Edwardian terraces to 1930s apartment blocks and semi-detached properties, as well as some modern redevelopments.

SW16 terraces tend to be large, with three or four bedrooms. The newer semi-detached properties can reach up to seven bedrooms. Period and modern detached houses can also appear on the market, alongside larger luxury properties.

Houses – and flats within converted buildings – can be found in the network of streets on each side of Streatham High Road, with many of the detached properties located close to the area’s green spaces, such as Streatham Common.

On the High Road itself you’ll find flats above retail premises and in modern developments such as Derry Court, close to Streatham railway station.

Housing prices tend to be lower than in surrounding areas, primarily due to the absence of a Tube station (although there are still three railway stations and a bus station). Average house values, according to Zoopla, stand at £520,000 compared to a £672,000 for the wider capital.

Aerial view of London on a grey day

Getting around in SW16

By rail: London Underground doesn’t service SW16 but there are three rail stations with regular services into the City and with connections to the Underground network.

The journey from both Streatham Hill and Streatham Common stations to London Victoria takes 20 minutes. Streatham train station also offers services to London Bridge, as well as to London St Pancras (30 minutes), Luton (one hour and 20 minutes) and St Albans (one hour).

By car: Streatham sits on the A23, which heads north into central London and south to join the M23 towards Brighton, with access to the M25 east, west and orbital to the north.

By air: SW16 is situated on the same side of the City as Gatwick Airport. Reaching the airport by road takes just 50 minutes, heading south on the A23 and then the M23. By rail, the journey takes around 30 minutes from Streatham Common station, with one change at East Croydon or Clapham Junction.

View up the River Thames at sunset

Things to do in SW16

Streatham High Road is packed full of shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. You’ll find cuisine from all over the world – from pan-Asian at Slurp, to Middle Eastern at Beyrouth’s, to Vietnamese at Tiger Café.

Just behind the High Road sits Hideaway, an award-winning live jazz, soul and funk venue. There’s also an eight-screen cinema and a theatre company, which makes use of a variety of venues in the Streatham area.

The multi-facility Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre boasts the only Olympic-sized ice skating rink in London, as well as a state-of-the-art gym, group exercise studios, two swimming pools and a sports hall. There are also two tennis clubs in the area – Wigmore Tennis Club and Telford Park Lawn Tennis Club.

Local events draw the community together, as well as attracting lots of visitors. Among them are the Streatham Food Festival; farmers’ markets; the acclaimed Streatham Festival (which includes elements of art, photography, comedy, film, food, music and dance) and the Streatham Common Kite Day, with music, food, and, of course, plenty of kite flying.

One of SW16’s biggest attractions is its green spaces which include Norbury Park, Pollards Hill Park, Streatham Vale Park and Tooting Bec Common – which also has a lido.

London at night

Hidden SW16

Surrounded by Streatham Common, The Rookery is a beautiful landscaped garden with a pond and woodland. A haven of calm in the busy capital, there’s even an on-site café for refreshments.

7 reasons to live in SW16

  • Close to central London, with good rail and road links

  • Good value for money on the London property ladder

  • Wide variety of properties ranging from flats to large detached homes

  • Plenty of amenities and leisure pursuits close at hand

  • A lively community with many local events

  • Easy access to green spaces

  • A choice of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools in the area

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