Brockley Central has received some comments accusing it of being a transparent attempt to boost house prices in the area. That's something of a grand ambition for a community website and we weren't aware that London house prices needed much of a boost at the moment, but it did prompt us to find out about the local property market to gain a better insight in to how the area is changing.
We spoke to Phil Sonenthal, the owner of Rocodell's, one of the the best-known local estate agents and Andy Moran, Manager of the Brockley branch of James Johnston, an agency specialising in South East London, which opened in the area relatively recently.
The picture that emerged was fairly consistent, with both agents agreeing that there is a strong buzz about Brockley, driven by the East London Line extension, with the prediction that the optimism about Brockley will continue for a long time to come:
How busy is the local property market at the moment?
Phil - Busy, but not as busy as it has been.
Andy - 2007 has been very busy so far.
Is there a buzz about Brockley in the market?
Phil - Brockley is 4th on the hot spot list of London places to live and in the last five years, property prices have doubled - sometimes more.
Andy - Absolutely. We moved to Brockley because we were well established in Greenwich and Blackheath and we saw this area as a natural progression for us. The East London Line has created interest, but people are now looking at Brockley and realising that, even without it, there are lots of transport options, with good overland connections from Brockley, Crofton Park, St. John's and even the DLR at Deptford and the services at New Cross are within easy reach for many.
Are there many houses for sale at the moment?
Phil - Supply has definitely picked up in the last 6 months.
Andy - Supply is relatively tight still, but it depends what areas of Brockley you're talking about. The majority of properties in the conservation areas are flats - typically two bedrooms. However, on the other side of Brockley or up in Crofton Park, there are some fantastic homes
What are the most popular areas of Brockley at the moment?Phil - Any two bedroom flat in the Conservation Area is always highly sought after.
Andy - Of course, the Conservation Area is beautiful. However, we are finding that many residents looking for something bigger than a flat are looking at the other side of Brockley because they don't want to leave the area and there is some fantastic housing stock on that side.
What kind of buyers are you seeing at the moment?
Phil - Brockley has always attracted a wide variety of buyers and that hasn't changed.
Andy - Singles and couples, mostly. Typically, they work in the city or Canary Wharf.
What do you think makes Brockley a popular area for buyers?
Phil - Lovely period properties in zone 2 are a huge draw and Brockley is still good value by London standards, even though prices have risen fast.
Andy - Transport is definitely the big draw.
What impact will the East London Line have?
Phil - A huge one!
Andy - It's already having a big impact and that will only increase as we approach opening.
What puts people off buying in Brockley?
Phil - People who want shops and restaurants will still head for East Dulwich or Greenwich at the moment.
Andy - The high street is changing but still has a long way to go!
Brockley Central's home is not for sale.
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