The Sunday Times recently named Peckham, SE15, the second most fashionable area of the UK to live in ahead of former London hipster paradises such as Hoxton, Clerkenwell, Hackney, Stoke Newington and Brixton.
This is despite, only a few years ago, the area being cast slightly more downmarket after it appeared centre stage in the BBC TV show Only Fools and Horses.
But that kind of Peckham is fast disappearing. While over recent years students, artists and musicians have all settled here attracted to Peckham’s affordable homes, they are being joined by people who would have normally bought in Clapham, Brixton and Balham.
These new arrivals are slowly making their money felt and, although Peckham’s main thoroughfare, Rye Lane, is still a smorgasbord of cultural influences, there are an increasing number of bike shops, gastro pubs and fair trade coffee emporiums springing up locally too.
For example, The Brick House artisanal bakery has set up on the borders of Peckham and the Old Spike Roastery recently opened on Peckham Rye. But there’s still a long way to go before Costa and Starbucks set up shop in Peckham, much to many locals’ relief.
Instead, on Rye Lane most retail space is taken up by shops selling a dazzling variety of world food and clothing – all documented by the area’s new local newspaper, The Peckham Peculiar. And it is this combination of old and new that keeps the area appealing.
House prices here are climbing, although it depends on where you look. Peckham is divided into two principal neighbourhoods both south of the A202 Queens Road. The first is between Rye Lane and East Dulwich (particularly Lyndhurst Way, Lyndhurst Square and Talfourd Road). The second is Nunhead, a gentrified outpost of Peckham to the east, the most treasured roads of which are St Mary’s Road, Ivydale Road and Surrey Road.
“We are getting people from all over London now looking at Peckham as a variety of areas in the capital become too pricey for many young buyers, particularly from South West and North West London,” says Jason Davis of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Peckham Rye branch.
“First time buyers favour the area greatly and they are usually able to pick up a one bedroom flat from around £250,000, while its period conversion equivalent will usually cost closer to £350,000.
“The most popular road in Peckham with these new arrivals is Bellenden Road which is very long and runs from Queens Road almost down to East Dulwich. It’s ideal because – depending on which end you live at – you can be at either Peckham Rye or East Dulwich railway stations within a few minutes,” says Jason.
“Such popularity means our branch has been incredibly busy recently and prices are rising here fairly fast at the moment as demand outstrips supply.”
House prices in the area, Land Registry figures show, are rising 17% year on year at the moment. If this carries on then the writing on the side of Del Boy’s three-wheeler might really come true: ‘Trotter’s Independent Trading Co – Paris, New York, Peckham’.