Home prices are on the rise in Thornton Heath as residents fear new buyers will be excluding them from the neighborhood.
There are many discussion threads on Reddit with potential home buyers asking for advice on buying in Thornton Heath.
Reddit posts ask if it’s safe and if the area is improving, with mixed responses.
Prices in the area have ‘skyrocketed’, according to a local estate agent, and Zoopla estimates show the average house price over the past 12 months to be £ 385,880.
Local councilor Karen Jewitt has lived in Thornton Heath for 38 years and still lives in the same three-bedroom house, which cost around £ 28,000 when she bought it.
She said she wouldn’t think of leaving Thornton Heath.
Cllr Jewitt said: “It’s a pretty close-knit community, people know each other, everyone’s kids go to local schools.”
And she said part of the area’s appeal is the good schools and bigger homes for families.
“I’m worried about the number of tiny houses that are downsized into apartments, the people who converted them aren’t making the money they were a few years ago,” Cllr Jewitt said.
“People who come to Thornton Heath are looking for a family home, we have good schools and excellent transport links.
“For me, Thornton Heath is a place where people come and stay.”
Councilor Callton Young agrees there is an “unfair perception” of the area.
He said: “Thornton Heath is a great destination as it has many properties and great locations such as Grangewood Park.
“Then you have the High Street with an eclectic mix of shops and places to eat.”
And every September, up to 7,000 people gather at Thornton Heath for an annual festival.
Cllr Young said, “The wonderful festival is always a fun day for the family. We have a fun fair, international artists have performed. It’s a very popular event, not just for the people of Thornton Heath.
“I think Thornton Heath has been around for a long time, a lot of people are moving here from the more expensive parts of London where they have small properties and can modernize and live a safe and very nice life in Thornton Heath.
The increase in demand for housing in the area is clear to Romael Taylor, who has been a real estate agent in Thornton Heath for seven years.
He works for Barnard Marcus and said: “The prices have skyrocketed, when I started you could get a three bedroom house for £ 300,000, now they go for £ 450,000.”
Demand, he says, is mostly from first-time buyers looking for their own home after renting in more expensive areas, with between five and 10 offers for properties.
Romael said: “On the back of this demand with fights and bidding wars, prices are going up.
“As always, they come further upstream from the higher priced areas, this part of South London is accessible to first-time buyers.
“It’s a booming field, so it’s an investment to buy here. It has great links and is close to more desirable areas like Croydon, Streatham and Crystal Palace.
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Earlier this year, Croydon Council published a plan for Thornton Heath High Street which will feed into the Croydon Local Pan.
This includes the idea of repairing the main street and creating a space for markets or entertainment.
He also found that people want more green space and new trees and plants.
But the plan says funding “remains an issue” due to the council’s financial situation, it adds that a new GLA grant could be essential with £ 20,000 allocated to each local council as part of the “High Streets for” challenge. All “.
Thornton Heath High Street was also one of 14 city centers across the UK to receive a government injection of up to £ 25million to rejuvenate the region.
This was announced in December 2019 and progress has stalled due to the pandemic.
But Cllr Young said there had been a recent walk in the area with experts from MHCLG, hopefully signaling the start of redevelopment plans.