When buying a property, one of the most important factors is location. Buying a house in London is no different. On the face of it, the capital can be daunting, with so many different areas and an ever-growing population, currently, at about 9.3 million, it’s hard to know where to start. But do not worry, we have compiled a complete guide to help you find the best places to buy in London…
Got a question and want a quick answer? Use this menu to help you…
- Why is London so expensive?
- Is property in London a good investment?
- Where are the best areas to buy property in London?
- Where is the cheapest place to buy a house in London?
- Is it worth buying a house in London?
Why is London so expensive?
Buying a house and living in a city centre is never going to be cheap but buying a house in London is a whole different level of expense. In 2018, London sat at number 13 out of 338 countries for being the most expensive place to live and there are many factors which cause such high prices…
- London is the financial capital of the world – London captures both the Eastern and Western time zones, allowing it to gain capital a lot faster than other countries. The UK also offers superior quality education on economics and finance, causing students to travel from all over the world to get a place in a UK university. After their education, a lot of the students are also hired in their field, meaning the UK is home to some of the best economists in the world (pretty cool, right?)
- A good place to work – this sort of follows on from the last point, if you’re in finance, economics and other highly paid professions, London is ‘the place to be.’ Due to this, the demand for housing, and therefore land, is high in London which pushes up the prices. Although this makes buying your house expensive, it will also mean you will be able to sell your house for more, making it a good investment. We’re going to cover investment in London a bit later, so we’ll leave that there for now…
- Attractions for tourists – people from all over the world are attracted to London, thanks to its history and culture. Places like Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London are on the bucket list of people from all over the world. If tourists stopped visiting London, the prices would decrease. However, this demand doesn’t look like it’ll fall anytime soon, meaning neither will London’s high prices (sorry!)
- Great place for small businesses – whether this is a small café or independent clothing shop, being placed in London will help your business thrive. Due to the high number of tourists London attracts all year round, smaller businesses are able to enjoy plenty of customers. As a result of this, demand for space is high, meaning shop spaces are able to charge a higher price than the rest of the country.
Is property in London a good investment?
If you’re going to shell out a large sum of money to buy a property in London, you need to be sure it’s worth the investment. No one wants to pay lots for a house and when it comes to selling it, not get more than you bought it for. Even worse, you don’t want to get less than the bought price. So, is London property buying a good investment or should you look to put your money elsewhere?
- Property prices continuing to rise – whether you’re wanting to live in London forever or for a shorter term, the price you buy your house for is almost guaranteed to increase. This means, when you come to sell your house, you’re going to make a profit (ooo).
- Global attraction – as we said earlier, London has a vast range of history and culture, which is something you can never change. This means there will constantly be a world-wide draw to London. How does this mean London is a good investment for you? Well, when it comes to selling your property, you’re never going to be short of offers so there’s no need to worry about your house sitting on the market.
- Transport links – you may be worried if you were to buy a property in London, which isn’t close to the centre, it won’t be a worthwhile investment. However, due to London’s great transport system, there’s no need to worry. There will still be a high demand for housing outside the centre of London, especially as the underground can get you into the centre in a matter of minutes.
- Businesses starting to move – although London is a big attraction for finance and economics, a lot of businesses are starting to move outside of the capital. More and more businesses are attracted by Northern cities, as costs of property and cost of living for employees is less. For example, HSBC relocated their HQ to Birmingham, moving 1000 head office roles, in a bid to cut costs. The relocation of big businesses could result in London losing its appeal and therefore demand for housing could fall.
- Easy transport puts demand elsewhere – although London’s great transport system is a strength of investing, it can also be seen as a downfall. Due to the number of trains that go in and out of the city, commuting to London is becoming easier. As a result, people are buying property outside of London and commuting into work, allowing them to enjoy the lower costs of living whilst still working in the capital.
- Better quality elsewhere – although house prices in London do rise, they’re not predicted to rise at a faster rate than other cities. This means you’re able to get a better-quality home for cheaper outside of London, but still have confidence that the price will rise by the time it comes to selling.
Where are the best areas to buy property in London?
Barking Riverside – East London’s biggest development. By 2025, it is projected there will be over 10,000 new homes, shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and seven schools. This area will be able to populate 30,000 people. There are also improvements to London’s overground transport, meaning journeys into the centre will take just over 20 minutes.
Woolwich – South-east London, five miles down from Canary Wharf. Regeneration of Woolwich will include 5000 new homes, bars, restaurants and, in 2021, a Crossrail.
(Little spoiler – it’s also included in our list of cheapest areas to live in London! Make sure you check out that section to see its average house price…)
Brentford – West London ‘hotspot’ undergoing construction of thousands of new homes which will overlook the area’s three waterways (the Thames, the River Brent and Grand Union canal.) Alongside the new houses, there will be new shops, restaurants and leisure facilities.
Greenwich Peninsula – an £8.4 billion project to build 15,000 new homes, cafes and restaurants. There’s a nearby station (North Greenwich) allowing you to use the Jubilee line and get to London Bridge in just eight minutes.
Poplar – just north of Canary Wharf. This area of East London is getting a total upgrade of new flats, shops, offices and parks. There’s something for all ages and is substantially cheaper than living in Canary Wharf.
Bayswater – West London, surrounds Hyde Park. From here, you can walk to the West End or hop on the District and Circle line from the nearby station. By 2021, you’ll be able to take a short walk to Paddington station and get direct services to Canary Wharf, or the centre.
Mitcham – great area in South London, especially for families and first-time buyers. This area is affordable whilst also having great transport links. The kids will be REALLY glad to know local primary schools have ‘good’ Ofsted reports and the senior schools rated ‘outstanding’ by the school’s watchdogs. You can also get trains, from either Mitcham Eastfields or Mitcham Junction, which will get you to Victoria in just 20 minutes.
Where is the cheapest place to buy a house in London?
As we know, buying a house in London is never going to be easy, with the extremely high prices of housing. But, lucky for you, we have collected a list of 10 of the most affordable places to buy in London and their average property prices:
- Barking and Dagenham – £275,497
- Newham – £321,433
- Croydon – £342,828
- Bexley – £346,253
- Havering – £364,480
- Hounslow – £370,672
- Enfield – £373,491
- Lewisham – £411,117
- Sutton – £424,289
- Redbridge – £426,063
Statistics are from MyLondon
Based on some additional research Woolwich, which we mentioned earlier, should also be in this list by MyLondon, with Zoopla putting the average price paid at £373,088 – which puts it in 7th position.
So, is it worth buying a house in London?
Whether it be the West End theatre, Big Ben, or Houses of Parliament, there’s no doubt London has its attractions. On the flip side though, there are drawbacks to buying a property in London, especially with the development in other Northern cities.
The answer to this question isn’t straight forward and is mainly down to opinion. If you’re asking us, we say yes! The history and culture are something you can’t change and will always bring people into the city. On top of this, there’s the new developments of more affordable housing, just a short commute out of the centre. Property prices are also always increasing, making London property a worthwhile investment.
But this is just our opinion! What do you think? Do you think it’s worth buying a property in London? Get in touch with us and share your thoughts.
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in.