Moving to Croydon
Are you moving to Croydon? When someone mentions Croydon, what do you think of? Possibly the town’s most famous export, supermodel Kate Moss, or maybe the cluster of 1970s office blocks at its centre. However, things are changing fast in south London’s main business centre and the ongoing development of residential, retail and office property is picking up pace. In fact, it’s London’s third business district after the City and Docklands, and the current regeneration is attracting numerous large corporations to take offices in the town. The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre by Westfield is generating excitement and Croydon now rivals Old Street’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ for the number of high tech start-ups. So forget any preconceptions you might have about the borough—it’s time to take a fresh look.
Our free, in-depth Moving to Croydon report includes info on:
• The best areas to live
• The good schools
• The average monthly rental prices
• The excellent public transport system in the city
Putting Croydon on the Map
Lying approximately 10 miles south of Charing Cross, Croydon is situated on one of the main routes between London and the south coast. It’s located just north of the North Downs, with suburban London stretching away to the north and rural Surrey to the south. Located at the head of the River Wandle, it was originally a Roman staging post. Now it covers an area of 33 square miles, much of which is hilly, particularly in the Addington Hills area. The borough celebrates having one of the lowest rain falls in the UK.
Despite being on the very southern edge of London, Croydon is still an important transport hub.
- A fast commuter service from East Croydon can reach London Bridge in just 13 minutes.
- Victoria is less than 15 minutes by train.
- East Croydon is London’s tenth busiest station.
- To the south, trains run to Brighton, Hastings, Southampton, Portsmouth and Gatwick.
- West Croydon Station is on the East London Line, for trains to Surrey Quays, Shoreditch, and Highbury & Islington.
- Croydon’s tram system links it to Beckenham and Wimbledon, and is London’s only tram network, carrying more than 20 million passengers each year.
- The area also has a sizeable network of bus routes.
- Croydon is just 18 miles from Gatwick Airport and 39 miles from Heathrow Airport.
- There are train connections from Croydon to Gatwick and Luton Airports, plus a bus link to Heathrow.
- The town links to the national motorway network via the M23, which runs north/south between London and Gatwick and the M25 London orbital. The motorways are reached via the A23 from the town centre.
- The A22 and A23 are the major trunk roads in the area.
To meet increasing demand, there are plans to build nearly 10,000 new homes in Croydon over the next five years. Furthermore, despite increases in house prices, it’s still remarkably well priced for a London suburb, particularly given the easy commute into central London. Most of the borough is taken up by owner-occupiers, with only a small percentage of rental property. However, with new housing schemes coming on stream all the time, there will be more opportunities to rent.
A small village lying to the east of Croydon, Addington is one of Croydon’s more desirable areas—look for large stucco villas on Boundary Way.
This is Croydon’s most expensive district, where you’ll find large detached 20s and 30s houses with good sized gardens. Oak Road backs onto the Shirley Park Golf Club, making it one of Croydon’s most sought after addresses. Another is Bishops Walk. Shirley Hills is well located for Croydon’s best schools, but not so many of the bigger properties come up for rent.
Whitgift Foundation Estate
South of Addiscombe Road and east of the town centre, this area of Arts and Crafts properties is enduringly popular. Check out Grimwade Avenue, Fitzjames Avenue, Mapledale Avenue, Upfield and Sandilands Avenue.
Large Edwardian houses and its own railway station give this area cachet—Croham Park Avenue is one of its smartest addresses. But there are plenty of medium-sized houses at good prices around here, particularly on the New Addington estate.
Convenient for the centre of town and the station, this is an area of modern townhouses and apartments, along with period conversions—many of the larger Victorian and Edwardian properties have been divided into flats. East Croydon is popular with young professionals who need to commute into town. Look out for smart new apartments coming up for rent in Morello, a 54-storey tower on Cherry Orchard Road.
Newly developed by the Berkeley Group, Saffron Square is a development of five blocks of apartments, including a 43-storey tower, in Wellesley Road. Barratt Homes has developed New South Quarter close to Wandle Park, with 923 studio, one, two and three-bedroom flats. One Lansdowne Road in West Croydon is the UK’s tallest residential tower, with 397 apartments, office space, a hotel and a health club.
This is a small conservation area in Park Hill which comprises 21 1970s architect-designed houses, with entrances on the first floor and the bedrooms below.
South east of central Croydon, this is a cluster of 60s and 70s houses in quiet culs-de-sac, showing a variety of architectural styles.
Who Lives and Works in Croydon?
Famous individuals who have lived in Croydon range from Raymond Chandler and DH Lawrence to Kirsty MacColl and Adele. But while famous past residents might have left the borough for more glamorous destinations, Croydon’s current regeneration is attracting a whole range of people and businesses to what is now south London’s main commercial hub. The borough currently has a population of approximately 350,000—this makes it London’s largest borough and the figure is set to continue rising.
As London’s third business hub, Croydon has the skyline to match. The centre is dominated by high rise office blocks, including the council’s Taberner House and the Nestlé Tower, the former UK headquarters of food giant Nestlé. These are being joined by new residential and commercial developments as the borough once again undergoes a round of regeneration. The recently completed residential/retail Saffron Square and Chroma office block are just two examples of the new wave of building.
Croydon’s economy has a strong base in the services and retail sectors, but newer industries are also becoming a force. Technology companies and start-ups have formed a new ‘tech cluster’ and the area has the UK’s highest growth percentage of new tech and media businesses. QuidCycle and Dotmailer are two of the more prominent—but there are more than 1,000 tech businesses in the borough.
Other prime businesses in the area include Parabis Law, D30 Lab Ltd, BPP Croydon, The Gym Group and Mott Macdonald. The latest big name to arrive in Croydon is The Body Shop who have taken space in Knollys House. Retail will undergo a significant boost in the area when the conversion of the Whitgift Centre into a Westfield shopping centre is completed in 2019/20—as well as shopping, the development will include 600 affordable residential units.
Other major employers include:
- Institute of Public Finance,/li>
- Home Office UK Visas and Immigration Department
The Best Bits
- Croydon represents a cultural hub for South London, with the Fairfield Halls, Arnhem Gallery and the Ashcroft Theatre.
- The Croydon Clocktower includes the Braithwaite Hall live venue, the David Lean Cinema, the Museum of Croydon and the borough’s central library.
- The Surrey Street Market is a food market that has held a charter since 1276.
- Shirley Windmill is one of the country’s few surviving working windmills.
- Croydon has been home to many Archbishops in both Addington Palace and Croydon Palace.
- Croydon is a safe place to live with a lower than average crime rate.
- A new Boxpark branch is due to open in Croydon in summer 2016. This is an 80-unit retail centre constructed from shipping containers—its first branch is a hit with the hipsters of Shoreditch.
- Croydon now boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, Albert’s Table.
- The borough has a number of woods, and accounts for 8.5% of London’s woodlands.
- Croydon is well-served with local golf clubs and is only a stone’s throw from the open countryside of Surrey.
Bringing the Kids
Croydon makes an excellent base for expats with families, whether you’re working within the borough or commuting up to the City. It’s far enough out from the centre of London to allow for more spacious houses and larger gardens, while it also boasts a good choice of schools.
- Croydon has one of the highest numbers of schools of any London borough—95 primary schools and 21 secondary schools.
- Many of the primary schools are Church of England or Roman Catholic affiliated. There’s also one Greek Orthodox primary school in the borough.
- Of the 21 secondary schools, four are affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
- The BRIT School is a performing arts and technology school, attended by the likes of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and many other well-known names.
- There are four further education establishments, including Croydon College, John Ruskin College, Coulsdon College and Spurgeon’s College, a world-famous Baptist theological college.
- There are eight independent primary schools, and eight independent secondary schools in Croydon.
- The Al Khair School offers a Muslim curriculum at primary and secondary level.
- The following schools have been judged outstanding by the education watchdog Ofsted: St Mary’s RC Infants, Park Hill Infants, Parish Church C of E Infants, St Thomas Becket RC (primary), Oasis Academy (from three to 18), Harris Academy Purley, (secondary), Coloma Convent (girls, 11 to 18) and John Ruskin Sixth Form College.
- There’s also a Japanese Saturday school in Croydon High School.
Relocating to Croydon
Once thought of as rather naff, Croydon is emerging as London’s third business centre and one of its most important retail hubs. These days, there is plenty to recommend it, from new residential and office developments to a burgeoning restaurant and cultural scene. Families can take advantage of its more leafy suburban areas, while young professional singles and couples will no doubt be drawn to the sleek urban apartment complexes at its centre. And whether you work in Croydon itself or commute up to town, the transport links will ensure an easy journey to the office. Within the high rise CBD, plenty of larger companies are taking office space and Croydon is now becoming a high-tech focal point to rival Shoreditch—as a city on the up, now’s definitely the time to move here.
At Saunders 1865, our teams of experts combine local knowledge with first-hand experience to pinpoint the right area and the right property that will tick all your boxes. Do you have children that need to be enrolled in school? Are the transport links convenient for your needs? Does this location fit with your expectations of expat life and is the space configured in a way that suits your requirements? We can bring expertise to all these factors and help to arrange smooth, efficient and stress-free relocations – to Croydon, London and destinations across the world. Our services include home finding assistance, school finding, lease negotiations, temporary accommodation, move management and immigration assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you.
Average monthly rent - Croydon