Research shows Thornton Heath is the fourth most popular place in the capital for those in their 20s wanting to get on to the housing ladder.

Over the last 12 months one in five homes in CR7 was sold to a twenty-somethings buying their first home, writes David Fell.

The research by Bairstow Eves shows that the number of homes bought by first time buyers in London is on the up.

This year those buying their first home made up the largest proportion of buyers since 2001.

The research shows Thornton Heath is competing with it’s pricier  neighbour with the average price paid in Thornton Heath £322,333 compared to £330,000 in Crystal Palace.

Here two first time buyers explain why they gravitated to Thornton Heath.

Elizabeth Hay who works in publishing was living in a shared Victorian terrace in Streatham with friends.

She said: “As my Rightmove (and floor plan) obsession developed, I realised that Thornton Heath had lots to offer. Not only was it affordable but has good transport links to my work and friends and local amenities with supermarkets, local shops, and the leisure centre. I also researched what the council was planning for the area – and the £2.3 million regeneration commitment was an attractive prospect for area development. Thornton Heath had potential and soon I secured my maisonette.

“Moving had its challenges in the beginning – adjusting to living by myself, new responsibilities, finding a new running route, ordering missing bins, fly tipping issues, and #southernfail during the winter!

“But despite these challenges, the biggest positive that Thornton Heath has offered over the last year is its community and open effort to work together to make improvements to the area – whether it is taking action against fly tipping with THCAT’s planters, organising local events like the Thornton Heath arts week we have just enjoyed,  or working with the council to get Thornton Heath  on the map for investment.

“If you’ve recently moved to the area, the best way to love your new area is to invest in it – get involved with community action and local events and you’ll soon feel right at home.”

Samantha Warren, a textile designer, grew up in Tooting and moved to Thornton Heath last year.

She said: “Having saved enough to finally buy my first home, Thornton Heath was an appealing option. It came up top as the quality and size of properties available are excellent in comparison.

“It is so convenient living here as the High Street has most things. The leisure centre has a good pool which is often quiet in the mornings before the schools arrive and the yoga and aqua classes are good. It’s so easy to get to Croydon, Crystal Palace and Balham too, which are great options for night life and more restaurants and pubs.

“There’s a strong community spirit in Thornton Heath, I feel at home, and I love the diverse cultures and mix of independent businesses – especially YBR cakes, Melfort fish bar and Blue and Orange. With regards to community spirit, I can’t not mention the efforts involved by the Community Action team in putting on events and organising this free local paper.

“I also discovered Grangewood Park only last year and it’s such a gem, if you haven’t ventured there yet I recommend it. I attended the local carnival and the Christmas carols at the clock tower o which were great. It really is a special area and there are some great initiatives taking place. I look forward to many happy times here in my new neighbourhood.”