Banking on it: Putney

KFH has a long-standing presence in Putney and, four decades on, this riverside area has evolved into offering something for everyone.

20 October, 2022

Rowing enthusiasts will know Putney Bridge as the dramatic starting point of the annual Oxford and Cambridge University boat race. But what many of the well-oiled revellers egging on the teams each year probably don’t realise is the area’s long-standing appeal as one of London’s most established districts.

Few postcodes in the Capital offer such a wide range of large Victorian and Edwardian homes, leafy mansion blocks and riverside apartments, while at the same time enabling access to several commons, the Thames, the A3 out of London, and miles of riverside embankment paths. Wedged in between Wandsworth and Richmond, Putney is 15 minutes by train from central London (Waterloo) and only a bit longer by tube if you rattle and shake your way into town via the District Line.

It’s also a short distance to both Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park, and a walk over the bridge to Fulham. Fusing an urban, suburban and sometimes even rural feel, the area attracts a varied mix of residents, such as City and West End legal and financial commuters and their families, affluent younger apartment buyers and renters, and a spattering of rock stars and well-known actors. But like many popular areas of London, Putney is all about community, an appeal that persuades many people to stick around for decades to move up the property ladder rather than moving out, KFH’s sales director for south west London, Lisa Mackenzie, says.

“Putney is unusual because, unlike many areas of south west London, it’s never been ‘up and coming’, but instead has been an affluent and popular area for years,” she says. “Some of the houses here are huge with big gardens – something most Fulham or Clapham Common homes can’t offer – while many of the roads have that almost boulevard feel.

Those factors, together with the Thames, have always made it special.” Where you live in Putney will depend on your age and budget. Younger home movers will find themselves house-hunting mostly in Putney Hill or East Putney, while those buying family homes for £1 million to £2 million go for West Putney, although prices for larger homes often hit £3 million to £5 million or more.

“Putney is very different to the rest of south west London including places like Clapham, Balham and Battersea, because here it really feels like a small town in its own right,” adds Mackenzie.

Putney is unusual because, unlike many areas of south west London, it’s never been ‘up and coming’, but instead has been an affluent and popular area for years.

West Putney and its riverfront

A stand out feature of this area is its rectangle of roads bordered by the Thames, Roehampton Lane, the A3 and Putney Heath. It’s the area’s most sought after address with prices to match and has easy access to the Heath, the river and Richmond Park. “The riverfront has a long association with rowing, giving this part of Putney quite a sporty feel. The tow path and commons are popular with dog walkers, runners and cyclists as well as the local tennis clubs, which keep the locals fit and healthy.

Leisurely breakfasts or queuing for coffee keep residents and visitors well fed and watered, and our dog friendly pubs are a hit with everyone,” says KFH West Putney sales branch director Sally Playfoot, who has lived and worked in the area for over 20 years. Her office, which is on the Lower Richmond Road near the river, was the location of KFH’s first residential sales branch during the early 1980s.

“West Putney has a completely different feel and vibe compared to East Putney and Putney Hill, which is partly down to our location nearer the river and access to the wide-open spaces of the common bordering Barnes. “But it’s also because ‘the hill’ has more purpose-built blocks, which is a legacy of WWII when the area was bombed and, subsequent to that, a lot of postwar blocks were built,” she adds.

But what really makes West Putney a hot favourite with families is its schools, which include a clutch of ‘excellent’ public primary and nursery establishments. “The most popular roads are those that run down to the river, offering conversion apartments and terraced houses, while there are plenty of other pretty tree-lined streets offering larger terraced and semidetached properties nearby,” adds Playfoot.

“As well as houses, there are some iconic mansion blocks on the river such as the Star and Garter mansions and Kenilworth Court, located close to Putney Bridge, which offer elegant lateral living.

“We have a good selection of period garden flats, conversion flats and period maisonettes, which attract first-time buyers, many of whom tend to fall in love with West Putney and, when they need more space, upsize here rather than move out.”

East Putney

This is a triangular area of more urban streets wedged in between the A3, Wandsworth, the A219 and the Thames, but not including its waterfront. Until very recently, East Putney was not as popular because of its less leafy feel due to its proximity to industrial Wandsworth, but as the areas surrounding it have become more sought after, East Putney, helped by its tube station, is now becoming increasingly in demand.

In addition, high specification new build developments have sprung up on the Upper Richmond Road close to East Putney station, such as London Square, Plaza Gardens and, most recently, Carlton House by Fabrica.

Rohan Alleyne, who runs KFH’s lettings operation across its two Putney branches, says the area also benefits from the significant redevelopment of Wandsworth, which has seen dramatic changes since the Ram Brewery closed and many of its former industrial premises have been turned into upmarket homes and shops – now known as the Ram Quarter.

Centre point

Drive through Putney along its High Street and you’ll soon be in the patch known as Putney Hill, which straddles East Putney on one side, and upper West Putney on the other. The roads are leafier, and boast mansion blocks, a number of 1930s Art Deco developments as well as 1960s purpose-built blocks that often have great views over Putney Heath or the London skyline.

According to Alleyne, Putney Hill is a hugely sought after area among more affluent professionals. “It feels very leafy and safe in Putney Hill and that reassures those looking for their first rented home in London, often with their parents in tow during the viewings,” he says.

“If they want to go for a night out, there are plenty of options along Putney High Street and the Upper Richmond Road. In addition, there are now so many places to go in Wandsworth – which has seen a huge redevelopment of many areas including the old brewery site and Southside shopping centre, and which is only a few minutes away by train or bus – and there’s also Fulham and Battersea nearby too.”

The KFH Putney Hill branch is one of the busiest and most successful within the company’s network, and has been consistently for many years, says lettings director for south west London, Esmee Jones. “That’s because, in part, there’s a wide range of rental property on offer,” she explains.

“West Putney has lots of houses, while Putney Hill has a lot of maisonettes and flats, and many of the people enquiring tend to be corporate relocation employees – the area has a big reputation among overseas business people, particularly South Africans. I asked my team to explain this unusual concentration, and many said it was the area’s green spaces and proximity to the river, which reminded many of them of their home country.”

New build riverfront

The riverfront east of Putney Bridge running alongside Deodar Road, Wandsworth Park and on to Riverside Quarter includes the bustling area of restaurants and pubs around St Mary’s Church, known as Putney Wharf. This area, at the bottom of the High Street, is dominated by Putney Wharf Tower.

“For those with bigger budgets there are plenty of riverside flats in this tower and other buildings by Putney Bridge to be snapped up, or in the Riverside Quarter along the river nearer to Wandsworth,” adds Alleyne.

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