Personal Finance

Here Are the Cheapest Places to Live in London Right Now

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Buying or renting in London remains notoriously expensive, so CNBC looks at which areas are currently the cheapest in the U.K. capital. 

Data collected by estate agent Knight Frank, shared with CNBC, shows that in the second quarter of 2021 Barking and Dagenham was typically the cheapest borough in which to buy a property. 

The overall average property price was £304,626 ($417,971) in Barking and Dagenham, with it costing £387,196 on average to buy a three-bed house in the borough, and £256,033 to buy a two-bed apartment in the area. 

Bexley was found to be the cheapest London borough in which to rent, with overall monthly rent coming out at £1,191 on average. It typically cost £1,523 to rent a three-bed house and £1,205 to rent a two-bed apartment in Bexley. 

Here is a rundown of the top 10 cheapest boroughs for living in London. 

London's cheapest boroughs to buy and rent a home


Knight Frank's data was based on its own research, as well as figures it collected from U.K. property search portal OnTheMarket. 

Despite pandemic-driven property trends, Knight Frank Head of U.K. Residential Research Tom Bill told CNBC on a phone call that the "heatmap of London house prices is still looking like it did before the pandemic," with these outlying areas of the city still being the cheapest for renting and buying property. 

London's housing market activity, like that of many major global cities, suffered amid coronavirus public health restrictions as people were urged to stay at home. 

As restrictions eased, giving people more freedom to move home, there was an uptick in Londoners seeking to move to rural areas in search of more space as the working-from-home trend looked to continue longer term. 

Knight Frank's Bill noted this trend, pointing out that areas like Wimbledon, Dulwich and Richmond had seen some of the biggest growth in property prices over the last 12 months, as people looked for more space and greenery 

Meanwhile, Bill said rent had fallen by 14%-15% in some areas of central London, with fewer international students and professionals from abroad coming to live in the city due to border restrictions. He believed that this fall in prices had possibly enabled some people to move slightly closer into the city 

However, Bill said the fall in prices was "bottoming out now" and had "reached that inflection point where it's picking back up again." 

'Good value' London boroughs

U.K. estate agents Foxtons found Newham to be the cheapest London borough in which to buy property, with an average asking price of £424,350. Foxtons found that Sutton was the cheapest borough in which to rent property, at an average of £331 a month.

However, Foxtons' data was based on the areas in which it has substantial sales and letting.

Purplebricks, an online estate agent, also said Barking was one area offering "good value" in terms of property prices.

In addition, they noted Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Havering, Hounslow, Lewisham, Newham and Sutton as other areas of London offering cheaper house prices.

James Terry, a divisional sales director at Purplebricks, highlighted two boroughs in particular — Newham and Bromley.

Terry told CNBC via email that Newham was "very up and coming," with a lot of new bars and restaurants opening in the area.

Meanwhile, "Bromley has a unique feel and doesn't feel like a normal London borough," he said, describing the area as "very leafy and family focused."

"People can move out of a flat in central London away from the hustle and bustle, and buy a bigger house with space to grow but still be able to get into London with twenty minutes," Terry added.

Check out: These are the best cities globally for remote working

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the job title for Knight Frank's Tom Bill.

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