Barking and Dagenham has been revealed as the cheapest place to buy in the capital, with the average property selling for £288,000.
Four out of 10 homes are sold to first-time buyers in the east London hotspot, the only borough to record average prices under £300,000, and £235,000 cheaper than the average in the capital.
Costs have surged in Barking and Dagenham by more than 18 per cent in the past year, according to the latest Land Registry and Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, largely thanks to its quick transport links into town (the Hammersmith & City line, the District line, London Overground and a huge number of bus routes) and the 15-year Barking Riverside regeneration project.
Neighbouring Bexley, just south of the Thames, is the next most affordable borough, with an average house price of £335,000. Prices have soared by nearly 17 per cent in the past 12 months thanks to the arrival of Crossrail from late 2018 at Abbey Wood station. Highly rated state schools and fast direct train services to London Bridge have also made it an increasingly desirable place to live.
Havering and Newham, in the east, and Croydon, in the south, complete the top five cheapest boroughs, all with average house prices of less than £371,000. Newham underwent major regeneration for the 2012 Olympics and is still enjoying the benefits, while Croydon is undergoing a flood of new builds and was recently hailed by Mayor Sadiq Khan as one of the capital’s “hidden gems”.
East London remains the best bet for first-time buyers hoping to get on to the property ladder, with just two boroughs in the top 10 – Hounslow and Sutton – in the west. Hounslow, with an average house price of £392,000, is under threat of increased noise and air pollution from plans to expand Heathrow but has the promise of Crossrail on its side, while Sutton, where houses sell for an average of £378,000, was recently voted as one of the happiest places to live in London (despite regularly disrupted Southern rail services).
The tenth cheapest borough, family-friendly Redbridge in the north east, is home to London’s most satisfied residents. The district is envied for its community feel, excellent schools and easy access to the city centre, with the average house on the market for £405,000.
There are certainly bargains still to be found, but be warned: the top five cheapest boroughs also have the fastest-rising house price rises - all recording double-digit rises in just 12 months.
“We are seeing a complete reversal of where we were five years ago,” says Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills. “The market has reached the point where there is much more capacity for price growth in the outer London boroughs.”