Brockley, not East Dulwich

The Evening Standard's Homes and Property section today quotes Brockley KFH's Simon Smith, as this week's 'Property Insider'. He says:

“In the past six months there has been a baby-boom in Brockley with plenty of couples starting families and having second babies, so the demand for houses is the highest I have seen it. People are following friends that have already moved to the area and there are prams and buggies everywhere. Brockley could potentially be the next East Dulwich.”

As the regular rows about babies in local cafes attest, there is a baby-boom going on in the area, as we've been pointing out for at least two years, but the insofar as the "new East Dulwich" line means anything at all, we think it's misguided. Brockley and East Dulwich are fundamentally different for the following reasons:

1. East Dulwich is next to Dulwich. Brockley is next to New Cross and Deptford.

2. East Dulwich has relatively rubbish public transport connections. Brockley is well blessed.

3. East Dulwich has a long, reasonably cohesive high street, with lots of room for all kinds of shops and businesses. Brockley Road is fragmented, with relatively few units until you get to Crofton Park. Even this stretch is comparatively compact.

The combination of the extensive high street and poor links means that East Dulwich is more likely to attract people who want to potter with pushchairs, Brockley more likely to attract the unencumbered.

4. Most importantly, the housing stock is very different. East Dulwich is full of small terraced houses, perfect for  (high priced) starter homes for young families. Brockley has some of those houses, mostly on the west side and in Crofton Park, but has lots more large houses which have become sub-divided. There's loads of stuff to buy in East Dulwich, relatively little in Brockley. Many young families looking for a starter home in Brockley give up and look elsewhere.

As a result, of these differences, we expect Brockley's population to remain more diverse and less child-laden and its high street less of a destination.