While they have often been eclipsed by their more upmarket or trendy neighbours, the areas of Tooting, Clapham, Balham and Streatham are very much on the up. Each of these neighbourhoods are now benefiting from superb transport links and new, upmarket amenities - these have made the areas fantastic for first time buyers and renters, as house prices have not quite reached the highs of their nearby west London neighbours, or ones further afield in Richmond or Kingston.
Where once the areas of Clapham and Balham were seen as middle class and Tooting and Streatham were seen as run down, each of them is arguably now meeting somewhere in the middle - with an increased emphasis on more edgy establishments in the former two areas, and more upmarket businesses springing up in the latter. With areas such as Brixton at the forefront of London's art and cool scenes, the influence has seeped southwards, and many people are now settling particularly in trendsetters Tooting and Streatham.
Why is south west London fast becoming a popular destination?
Tooting, Balham and Clapham each benefit from being on the Northern Line, making commutes into the centre an absolute breeze, taking around 23 minutes from Tooting Bec to Tottenham Court Road. Buses run through the night from Trafalgar Square back to the areas, and Streatham's proximity to Brixton allows for quick, easy access to the super-fast Victoria line.
A new lifeline has been given to Clapham by its relatively new overground links to east London, allowing for a single train to the likes of Dalston Junction and Hackney Central. Where once a long tube journey would need to be taken to Highbury and Islington, commuting north, south, east and west is now fast and convenient. As always, a trip to Waterloo from Clapham Junction is just one stop.
Tooting and Streatham
Tooting and Streatham couple their superb south Asian food with a buzzing, cosmopolitan atmosphere, as well as a great many independent bars and pubs, which feed into their new statuses as a south west London 'place to be'. Whether you are taking in the traditional style of the White Lion pub, the more contemporary Tooting Tram and Social, or the gin tasting facilities of the Graveney Gin, there is something for everyone, especially for those looking for the trendy London life.
Clapham and Balham
Clapham and Balham are moving away from their bijou reputations into more contemporary styles, as exemplified in Clapham's cutting edge The Dairy restaurant. Where once these areas were noted for their babyccino-ordering establishments, they both now have a lot to offer first time buyers and renters, though the prices are certainly higher than Tooting and Streatham. With nice independent businesses, a good cinema and plenty of scope for a nice walk and a coffee, both areas certainly have their charms. Incidentally, for a nice mixture of Tooting and Balham, Tooting Common is beautiful; its lido, sports facilities and grassland are ideal for everyone.