Cheapest areas in London to buy your first home

October 28, 2019 Icon 8 mins read
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Getting a foot on the property ladder can be an expensive ordeal, even more so if you’re hoping to find a place in London. The average price of a home in London is around £600k, but there are a few areas in London where you can spend half of this!* Some of these locations aren’t yet on the London Underground lines, but they all have good train links into central London, and some of them will be served by the brand-new Elizabeth Line when it opens.

*All figures based on the average cost of a one-bed flat.



Barking and Dagenham – 200k.

First on the list is this spot in East London. This is the cheapest place to buy a property in London and has been for some time! On average, a one-bedroom flat will set you back just over 200k.

Barking and Dagenham is located in Zone 4 of London and can be accessed via that Hammersmith & City and District Lines from Barking railway station.

If you have children, a large number of the local schools are rated ‘outstanding by Ofsted including Thames View Infants, Loxford School, Little Ilford, Plashet, and Ark Isaac Newton Academy. There are a number of Grammar and Private schools as well.

If you’re a fan of the street dance troupe Diversity, who won Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, you’d be interested to know that they’re from Barking and Dagenham and is also the case for Sara Pascoe, a British comedian and actress and the well-known Bobby Moore, who even has a road named after him.

Bexley – 200k.

This borough, located in South East London, is known to be ‘up and coming’ due to the introduction of Crossrail (aka the Elizabeth Line) to Abbey Wood station. This makes it a fantastic place to purchase a home, as there are regeneration plans in the local area. At the moment, a one-bedroom flat will cost you an average of 200k, so it’s a lot cheaper than the London average.

Bexley is working with a housing association called Peabody to build brand-new affordable homes. They have plans to invest over £1 billion into the town to make ‘a lasting contribution to the cultural, physical, environmental and economic wellbeing of Thamesmead.’

As I mentioned above, there aren’t currently any London Underground lines at the moment, however, Abbey Wood will be served once it opens. There are also frequent train services to central London, so the transport links are still great.

If you like a bit of history, Bexley is home to ‘Hall Place’, one of the South East’s best-kept secrets, a grade 1 listed building which dates back to 1540. It is now managed by the charity Bexley Heritage Trust. You can visit the gardens for free – a great place to visit on a summer’s day. They run a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year as well.

For lovers of the childhood author Roald Dahl – this is where he lived from 1927 to 1934, and the well-known illustrator of his books, Quentin Blake was born here too! Bexley was also where Delia Smith grew up.

Croydon – 230k.

This town and borough in South London is thought to be making a comeback, as there’s a new Westfield being built alongside new flats. The average 1-bedroom flat will set you back around 230k, so it’s still well below the average. This is expected to rise once it becomes a more sought-after location, so snap one up while you can!

Croydon is only 10 miles out of central London and has some of the best transport links into central London and the seaside town of Brighton.

East and West Croydon are both served by Govia Thameslink Railway lines and West Croydon is on the London Overground line. Croydon is also the hub of the Tramlink, which is the only tram system in Greater London, therefore, this means that, despite not being served by London Underground, you still have an easy journey into central London for the nightlife or your commute.

Sherlock fans, if you choose to live here, it’s where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived – he even featured Croydon in his writing. Additionally, D.H. Lawrence, famous for writing lady Chatterley’s Lover, lived in Croydon and even taught at Davidson Road School.

If you watch The Bill or Peep Show, Croydon is a filming location for both. Fans of Peep Show visiting London tend to make sure they stop by to catch some of the filming locations – this has led to a map being made of key spots to visit, which you can find with a quick Google search! This fills up your Saturdays and gives you more knowledge of the local area – two birds, one stone! 

Havering – 270k.

This zone 6 borough in East London might be a bit further out but it still has a great deal to offer. A one-bedroom flat will set you back around 270k, so it’s a little pricier than the others on this list, but still well below the London average.

There are benefits of living a little further out are that you tend to see a lot more greenery, you get a roomier apartment for less, and you’re much more likely to nab yourself a seat on your morning commute. The links into the city are still fairly quick, so you won’t get any FOMO.

Havering is known to have one of the lowest crime rates in Greater London, so you can sleep easier knowing you’re in one of the safer parts of London. This could potentially lower the costs of insuring your property too, as risk is determined by the criminal history.

In terms of transport, Havering is currently served by the district line and London Overground, it’s planned to be on the Crossrail/Elizabeth line as well, so your links into central London will be terrific once it opens.

Romford has been given £35 million by the Greater London Authority to build over 3000 more homes, so it’s a good idea to snap up a property while it is still affordable and before Crossrail is completely finished.

If you’re a reader of The Rutshire Chronicles, this is the birthplace of Jilly Cooper as well as where Les Misérables and Into the Woods actor Daniel Huttlestone was born. Jessie J, the singer and songwriter, grew up here as well.

Sutton – 245k.

This south London borough might be a little further out, but it has a lot of character and could guarantee you a seat on your morning commute! A one-bedroom flat will set you back well below the London average, at 245k, so you’d be saving a great deal by being further out as well.

Sutton station has frequent services into central London, served by Thameslink and Southern and resides in zone 5. There are plans to introduce a tram interchange to link up with the service currently in South Wimbledon.

Sutton is known to be one of the leafier areas of London, as is the case with a lot of outer London areas. In Wallington, you can find the Mayfield Lavender Fields, a 25-acre farm of just lavender. You can visit for a day between May and September for just £2.50. They have a shop where they sell lavender goods such as bath bombs, candles, and essential oils. There’s also a café, where you can enjoy a lavender afternoon tea, and, of course, you can roam the fields of lavender and take some idyllic photos.

As with Havering, crime rates in Sutton are consistently among the lowest in London which can improve the costs of your insurance premiums and give you more peace of mind about the local area.

If you’re a fan of The Rolling Stones, you can visit The Winning Post, the pub on Sutton High Street where they were spotted by Giorgio Gomelsky. They played a lot of gigs here when it was called The Red Lion before they got big as Sutton is where Ian Stewart, the co-founder of The Rolling Stones grew up.

Other famous faces from Sutton, especially on the Olympic scene, include James Cracknell OBE who is an Olympic gold medallist in rowing as well as Rebecca Romero and Joanna Rowsell Shard, both Olympic cyclists.

There you have it – the cheapest places to buy a property in London. If you’re a first-time buyer, make sure you become acquainted with the pitfalls that new buyers tend to fall into and check out our post about saving for a deposit.

About the author
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Zoe Stabler

Zoe is a cat owner, ice skater and Christmas enthusiast living in London.

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