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The most affordable and popular London hotspots for first-time buyers in 2022

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 08/07/2022 Rachel Mortimer
first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 © Provided by The Telegraph first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022

For most young Londoners, getting on the property ladder in the capital seems like an almost impossible feat. 

House price growth might have slowed during the pandemic, but in 2022, the city still has the highest property values in the country, at an average of £524,000, according to official figures, compared with £278,000 nationally. 

Estate agents have reported growing demand from first-time buyers in London recently, many of whom saved up funds during lockdowns.

Those able to buy in the capital want good value for money, but also the ability to buy in desirable areas – where they actually want to live. 

To find these first-time buyer hubs, estate agency Savills used a metric ranking boroughs on employment rates, a key indicator for prosperity, and affordability, based on the ratio of house prices to local earnings. 

The analysts also found the average value of the cheapest 25pc of properties in the area, the part of the market first-time buyers are most likely to target. These are the best boroughs to purchase a first home in the capital. 

South London

Wandsworth was the highest ranking borough for first-time buyers, according to the metric. It has the highest employment rate in the capital, at 77pc, and the cheapest quartile of homes cost an average of £472,348.

Buyers will need more than 14 times their salary to get on the property ladder, almost double the national average. But it is affordable in relative terms when compared to other boroughs in London. Nearby Kensington and Chelsea, for example, has an average ratio of almost 25.  

first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 battersea park wandsworth - Robert Stainforth/Alamy © Provided by The Telegraph first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 battersea park wandsworth - Robert Stainforth/Alamy

Wandsworth's plentiful green spaces and good transport links make it a firm favourite with first-time buyers, said Robin Chatwin of Savills. Battersea Park, Wandsworth Common and Putney Common all sit within the borough. 

Mr Chatwin said: "The further south you go in the borough the more square footage you will get for your money. 

"Outside space is always in high demand and we are also seeing first-time buyers looking for properties with the potential to extend, maybe buying a one-bedroom flat which they can make into a two-bed later down the line when they have more funds."

Amid soaring gas and electricity costs, first-time buyers are also on the hunt for homes with decent insulation and relatively new boilers, added Mr Chatwin. 

East London

The borough of Tower Hamlets includes many affordable and well-connected areas, as well as the business district of Canary Wharf. The cheapest homes in the borough cost an average of £405,083 and typical first-time buyers need 13 times their salary to purchase.


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Tower Hamlets has an employment rate of almost 73pc. Appetite from first-time buyers in the area has boomed, said Adam Wolfroyd of Hamptons estate agency. 

Limehouse Basin tower Hamlets first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 - Chris Harris /Alamy © Provided by The Telegraph Limehouse Basin tower Hamlets first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 - Chris Harris /Alamy

He said: "The demand is huge and it's still an area considered to be good value for money. Currently 70pc of our agreed sales are with first-time buyers.

"A lot of these buyers are making the jump into home ownership because they are sick of paying the huge rental premium."

Buyers looking for properties with parking and a little more space have headed to Isle of Dogs, just south of Canary Wharf, he said, while those on the hunt for a more suburban feel search close to Victoria Park on the outskirts of the borough. 

Mr Wolfroyd added: "We have also seen an increase in demand for slightly older developments, those pre-dating the past decade, whereas before the pandemic it was all about the newest possibly building." 

West London

Hammersmith and Fulham is the highest-ranking borough for first-time buyers in the west of the capital, but they must pay a premium to get on the property ladder here. 

The cheapest homes here cost in the region of £514,000, and require an average of more than 19 times average buyer’s salary. But Albert Lawrence, of Marsh & Parsons estate agency, said first-time buyers in this area usually push their budgets further with the help of parents. 

Aerial view Fulham Reach first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 - William Barton/Alamy © Provided by The Telegraph Aerial view Fulham Reach first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot london 2022 - William Barton/Alamy

First-time buyers with a budget of up to £600,000 can purchase a one-bedroom flat in Fulham, while a two-bedroom garden flat can sell at between £800,000 and £850,000, he said. 

"We have certainly seen a significant increase in first-time buyers registering interest in the Fulham area over the past few months. 

"Good transport links are in huge demand and the safety appeal of close proximity to a Tube station, most commonly Parsons Green or Fulham Broadway, is especially important to parents helping children onto the ladder," added Mr Lawrence.

North London

With its abundance of green space and proximity to the River Lea, Haringey was the top borough for first-time buyers in the north of London. The cheapest homes here cost roughly £425,000 – a 17pc discount compared to neighbouring Camden.

View North London districts Crouch End Hornsey Borough Haringey first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot 2022 - Julian Nieman/Alamy © Provided by The Telegraph View North London districts Crouch End Hornsey Borough Haringey first time buyers savings property ladder capital most affordable best home house hotspot 2022 - Julian Nieman/Alamy

First-time buyers will need to pay an average of 15 times their salary to purchase, although Filipe Magalhaes of estate agency Foxtons said the borough provided value for money.

He added: "Islington next door is hugely expensive in comparison. In Haringey first-time buyers can get more for their money and houses are in particular demand. 

"Buyers are falling over themselves to buy in the Harringay Ladder neighbourhood, with its tree-lined streets and community feel. But properties very rarely come up for sale there, so really buyers are looking to buy as close as possible to it."

This article is kept updated with the latest information.

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