The last truly affordable places to buy a first home in London

Linda J. Dodson

Young people are quickly giving up hope of ever being able to afford to buy a home in London. Property prices in some parts of the capital are more than 10 times average salaries.

Typically banks will lend up to five times your salary for a house purchase, but they have become much stricter and risk-averse since the coronavirus outbreak, taking mortgages for buyers with small deposits off the market. 

But there are still pockets of affordability. Exclusive research by Savills, the estate agency, and property website Zoopla, has pinpointed the best places for first-timer buyers to find a home in the capital. 

Kenton, Brent  

Average price for a flat or terrace: £152,798

The most affordable place for young people to get on to the property ladder in London is Kenton in the borough of Brent, according to Savills’ analysis of data from Experian, the credit agency. The estate agency compared average incomes of 18 to 30-year-olds living in each ward in the capital to the price of a typical flat or terraced house in the area. 

In Kenton, which is just to the east of Harrow, the average starter home costs just under £153,000. Young residents in the area earn on average £65,000 a year – meaning they’d have to spend just 2.35 times their salary to buy a home in the area, much less than in most parts of the capital. 

Local Tube stations are Kenton and Northwick Park, which are on the Bakerloo and Metropolitan lines. 

Kenton West, which is nearby but over the border in Harrow, is also a good bet to find affordable homes. A typical flat or terrace here costs £164,500 while local young people earn a healthy £68,000 a year on average, meaning they have to stump up just 2.42 times their earnings to get on the ladder. 

In some of the priciest spots in the capital for young people – the areas around St Pancras train station in Camden and between Pimlico and Sloane Square stations in Westminster – starter homes cost between nine and 10 times local salaries of 20-somethings. 

Goodmayes, Redbridge

Average price for a flat or terrace: £112,254

The second most affordable ward was Goodmayes in the borough of Redbridge. It sits quite far from the centre, about six miles further east than the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, but has very affordable homes. Local 18 to 30-year-olds typically earn around £47,000 a year, so can buy a home for just 2.4 times their salary.  

Goodmayes is part of the town of Ilford but has its own station where fast trains take you into Liverpool Street in 23 minutes. There are a number of local schools, including Christchurch Primary and Beal High School which are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. 

Hayes and Coney Hall, Bromley 

Average price for a flat or terrace: £158,056

The area covering both Hayes and Coney Hall in south-east London is slightly less well connected, with trains from Hayes to Charing Cross taking about 45 minutes. 

Hayes itself has quite a villagey feel, with a small high street, some old cottages and a knoll with a pond. Starter homes cost around £158,000 – very affordable for the average 18 to 30-year-old who earns on average a little over £65,000. This works out to just 2.4 times their earnings. 

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