With Wimbledon almost upon us, estate agents Tepilo take a look at how property prices fare in some of the UK’s tennis hotspots.
Temperatures are soaring, the hottest day of the year has come and gone, ice cream vans are out and about selling their wares and the music festival scene is in full swing – which can only mean one thing, summer is well and truly here.
And what is more associated with British summertime than Wimbledon? The world’s oldest tennis tournament is renowned for its grass courts, rain delays and the easy availability of Pimms and strawberries & cream.
For two weeks every year, tennis fever grips Britain, Centre Court becomes the home of great drama and thousands of spectators camp out overnight for tickets to one of sport’s most prestigious events.
To place a property spin on all this, we take a look at the housing situation in Wimbledon and three other locations in the UK that host major tennis events.
The longest-running tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon has been going strong since 1877. One of tennis’s four Grand Slams, it is the only one to be played on grass and has been held at the All England Club since its inception. It is known for its formality, its royal connections, its strict dress code (players must play in all white) and its pristine lawn courts. As well as Centre Court, Henman Hill (or is it now officially Murray Mound?) has become an iconic venue in its own right.
But what of property prices in SW19? A popular location among young professionals and the affluent middle-classes, house prices in Wimbledon and its surrounding areas are what you’d expect of one of the most desirable parts of the capital.
Wimbledon, which is dominated by flats, has an overall average price of £767,506 (Rightmove), 5% up on the year before and 14% up on 2014. Wimbledon Village, a more rustic, olde-worlde and exclusive part of town, is much dearer, with an average asking price of around £1.8 million, while in West Wimbledon it is £833,596.
Flats are the most affordable type of home on offer in Wimbledon, advertised for an average asking price of £455,834, but things start to get more expensive for bigger abodes, with terraced properties selling for an average of £808,629 and semi-detached homes selling for around £1.1 million.
Wimbledon also has a thriving rental market, with average property rents of £2,285 pcm. Flats again dominate, with two-bedroom properties being by far the most popular.
The Queen’s Club
A private sporting club in West Kensington, The Queen’s Club – which was established in 1886 – lays a claim to be the first multipurpose sport complex built anywhere in the world. As well as hosting the prestigious Ageon Championships – an annual tournament, won by Andy Murray a record five times, which takes place in the weeks leading up to the Wimbledon Championships – it is also home to the World Rackets Championships and a number of leading Real Tennis events throughout the year.
It’s not just all about the sport and sporting facilities, though – members are also treated to a number of exclusive entertaining and dining locations, including a restaurant, café and museum, as well as the tranquil and charming President’s Room.
Located in the heart of West London, it’s a stone’s throw from a number of Tube stations (Baron’s Court, Hammersmith and West Kensington) and not far from Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
One of the capital’s most affluent locations, the average asking price in West Kensington is £877,121, which is similar to nearby areas such as Hammersmith and Brook Green. Prices have stayed broadly the same in the last year, but are up by 20% on 2014 levels.
A seaside resort famed for its close proximity to the sweeping South Downs and the natural beauty of Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, the town also plays host to an annual WTA 250 event, which forms part of the WTA tour.
The Aegon International Eastbourne takes place in the week before Wimbledon kicks off and draws a host of star names eager to brush up on their grass games.
As for property, Eastbourne is certainly much more affordable than its Wimbledon and West Kensington counterparts, with an average asking price of £257,196. This makes it especially popular among families and first-time buyers priced out of living in London. With a journey time of 1h 21m to London Victoria, commuting into the capital on a daily basis is highly feasible and, as such, the town is a key commuter hotspot.
Despite the much more affordable house prices, there are reasons for sellers to cheer as well. In the last year house prices in Eastbourne have increased by 10% and are also up by 19% on 2014 levels. Increased demand, coupled with limited supply and strong market conditions for sellers, should see prices continue to rise in the foreseeable future. For buyers, though, nabbing a relative bargain (with terraced properties and semi-detached homes both on offer for well under £300,000) is eminently achievable.
We head back to London for the final major tennis event to be held on British soil. Seen as the unofficial fifth Grand Slam, the ATP World Tour Finals are held annually in November at the O2 arena.
The end-of-the-season event brings together the eight best male tennis players in the world and also features an eight-team doubles draw, with players divided into two groups of four and playing three round-robin matches against each other, followed by semi-finals and then the final.
It’s been held at the O2 since 2009 and has become something of a showpiece event, with huge crowds coming to watch the best tennis players in the world battling it out for top spot.
The O2 arena, opened in 2007 after a four year building project to convert the much-maligned Millennium Dome into a multi-purpose entertainment venue, is based in North Greenwich. One of the more affordable parts of London, Greenwich is world famous for its maritime history, royal heritage, riverside setting and numerous attractions. The home of time (it is, after all, called Greenwich Mean Time for a reason) and where the East and West hemispheres meet (otherwise known as the Greenwich Meridian, or 0% longitude), Greenwich draws millions of tourists and visitors each year.
It is home to the Royal Observatory, the Royal Naval College, the Cutty Sark and the National Maritime Museum, while the town centre is full of charming Georgian properties, cafes and restaurants.
Being on the outskirts of London, it has an overall average price of £565,271, but semi-detached properties are far more expensive (fetching over £1.1 million) and terraced properties sell for around £786,624. Flats are the most affordable, selling for an average of £498,726. Prices have been rising considerably in recent years, too – up by 12% in the last 12 months and up 17% on 2014.
So there we have it. With so much tennis to look forward to in the coming weeks – with Wimbledon coming hots on the heels of the Aegon events at The Queen’s Club and Eastbourne – it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of double faults, tie-breaks and first-serve percentages and let this most summery of sports do its thing.