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8 of the Most Affordable Areas in London 2018

17 November 2017 Simon Banks Read time: 6 min
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Simon Banks

Let’s not beat around the bush: London isn’t the cheapest city to call home. Still, average rents have dropped over the 12 months and, believe it or not, you can find areas where the monthly rent doesn't require you to take out two bank loans.

We’re not talking about postcodes that feature at the bottom of the barrel, either. These are up-and-coming and well-established areas in the capital where rents aren’t outlandish. Places people are proud to call their home.

So, what do we class as affordable? The average rent in London for a one-bedroom property is around £1,150. With that number in mind, we’ve done some digging and found areas that offer properties under the London average.

The most affordable areas in London are Croydon, Colindale, Bromley, Hornchurch, Woolwich, Leytonstone, Brentford and Crystal Palace. But as you surely want more details about each of those cost friendly areas, read on and find out more, as well as how and when to get a good deal.  

Getting a Good Deal

The price of an area isn't the only factor to take into consideration when looking for an affordable home. The month you begin your search can also impact on the type of deal that you find. Other factors that come into play include research. By researching early, you will be better prepared for finding a home -  no matter the time of year. 

When it comes to negotiating, it's always worth going over every detail - from the rental price to the furnishings. Everything is negotiable in the world of renting, with most outcomes depending on demand. If the property is in a popular area where there are plenty of enquiries, it's likely to let for the asking price. 

Look at other properties on the market and compare price points. If the asking rent is in line with similar properties in the area, there probably won't be much leeway for negotiations, unless it's been on the market for a while and the landlord is keen to do a deal. 

It can be hard playing a game of poker over your dream home, and don't low-ball the landlord, but you might be able to rent a home at a lower price. Without asking the question; you won't know the answer. 

And with that in mind, here are the most affordable areas in London.

Croydon, CR0

Exterior of Boxpark in Croydon

On a map
Google map of Croydon

It might not have a London postcode, but Croydon is very much considered part of the capital. That’s good news for people who are thinking of moving to the area. Over the past few years, the Cronx has undergone significant regeneration.  

You will find a plethora of brand new residential developments that have sprung up in the last couple of years, with a mix of modern homes and period properties now available. What was once an area known for it’s, let’s say, less than impressive concrete architecture, is now on its way to becoming a cultured London postcode.

A Westfield is scheduled to open in the future, while a thriving art scene and a Boxpark offer fun amenities. Excellent travel connections come via train and tram services, plus Croydon has South London’s answer to Silicon Roundabout. Now is the time to get in while the area is still considered up and coming - and affordable.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £850 per month
Average one bedroom property: £950 per month

Search for Croydon rental properties

Colindale, NW9

Exterior of Beaufort Park in Colindale featuring the communal garden
Photo credit: http://ausingroup.co.uk/property/beaufort-park

On a map
Google map of Colindale

Colindale shares some similarities with Croydon, albeit on the other side of London. This North-West postcode has also seen plenty of regeneration over the years. Up until 2009, Colindale’s claim to fame was an RAF air force base. That was about it.

Fast forward to 2018, and it’s a popular residential area. Shiny new buildings replace what was once empty warehouses, and they don't come shinier in NW9 than Beaufort Park. The development features a host of on-site amenities, including a swimming pool and fitness centre with gym, sauna and steam room.

Those looking for somewhere with convenient travel options will be happy to know that Colindale is on the Northern Line. It takes around 15 minutes to get to Camden, and about 25 minutes to Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road. Brent Cross Shopping Centre is less than a 10-minute journey.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £930 per month
Average one bedroom property: £1,350 per month

Search for Colindale rental properties

Bromley, BR1

Jewellery shop in Bromley town centre
Photo credit: http://home.clara.net/davidford/Bromley_MarketSquare.htm 

On a map
Google map of Bromley

Good ol’ ‘Brommers’, as it’s known by the locals. Bromley shares the same traits as many towns located just outside of London. There is a town centre with lots of shops and residential areas on the outskirts.

The difference, however, is that Bromley is considered to be part of London and offers fast trains to Victoria in just 15 minutes. The BR1 postcode seamlessly combines the buzz of a London town with nearby areas that are more akin to the countryside.

Entertainment is found in the form of the Glades Shopping Centre, independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. In 2014, Bromley was ranked as one of the happiest places to live in London.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £800 per month
Average one bedroom property: £979 per month

Search for Bromley rental properties

Hornchurch, RM11 and RM12
Langtons House in Hornchurch

On a map
Google map of Hornchurch

Hornchurch was a county of Essex for a long period of its history. The capital decided to get in on the action in 1965, claiming it as a London district. RM11 and RM12 postcodes might sound like they are from out of space, but there is a tube station.

It’s around 15 miles from the centre of London, with straightforward travel accessed by the District Line. Local road names pay homage to wartime history: RAF Hornchurch played a significant role in World War One and Two.  

If you’re looking for local entertainment, The Queen’s Theatre has garnered a reputation for great shows. The Fairkytes Arts Centre also hosts performing arts, plays and an open-mic night. Jazz lovers will be pleased to know there is a jazz cafe in Hornchurch.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £775 per month
Average one bedroom property: £950 per month

Search for Hornchurch rental properties

Woolwich, SE18

Wollwich Market
Photo credit: http://www.desperately-seeking-adventure.co.uk/

On a map
Google map of Woolwich

There is a common theme developing on this list: regeneration. Woolwich is another area to see its fair share of new builds and redevelopment. Crossrail is planned for the near future too, which means you'll be able to get to the shopping mecca of the West End in just 25 minutes. 

The process of Woolwich's promotion to the big leagues of London postcodes has been a slow one, but we're almost there. More than 1,000 new homes were constructed in the last few years, with more to come. 

As far as amenities in Woolwich, foodies won't go wrong with the Woolwich Farmers' Market, while those looking for a good pub or two are advised to check out Dial Arch Inn pub and Geronimo Inns. Both offer an interesting experience: Dial Arch is more akin to a traditional local, while Geronimo Inns provides gastro delights.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £800 per month
Average one bedroom property: £1,170 per month

Search for Woolwich rental properties

Leytonstone, E11

Silhouettes of birds imprinted on a building in Leytonstone
Photo credit: http://www.jankattein.com/portfolio-item/leytonstone/

On a map
Google map of Leytonestone

Stratford and Walthamstow already have their blue tick of approval as fashionable areas. Yet their neighbour, Leytonstone, is the postcode offering competitive rental prices with just as much pizzazz.  

Period homes and purpose-built flats are joined by new homes, along with yet another Crossrail service in nearby Maryland- not that it's a bad thing, of course.  

The Olympic legacy of 2012 has trickled down in Leytonstone. The high-street received a lick of paint, while cafes, pubs and restaurants lend themselves to a new scene in E11 that is catching the eyes of those in nearby areas.  

Cheapest one bedroom property: £850 per month
Average one bedroom property: £1,035 per month

Search for Woolwich rental properties

Brentford, TW8


Buildings surrounded by a canal
Photo credit: Tripadvisor

On a map
Google map of Brentford

Nestled between Chickwick and Richmond, Brentford finds itself in good company. Fortunately, it doesn’t share the same rental prices as its neighbours. The area is another that has seen plenty of regeneration and provides both new and period homes.

The West London postcode is located around eight miles from the centre of London. There are good transport links in the form of National Rail stations and a handy bus network for getting around locally.  

Looking for something to do in Brentford? The Waterman’s Art Centre is a multipurpose arena overlooking the scenic Kew Gardens and River Thames. Amenities on site include a cinema, theatre, bar, cafes and a restaurant. And the local football team, Brentford FC, is just one division away from the Premier League.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £975 per month
Average one bedroom property: £1,450 per month

Search for Brentford rental properties

Crystal Palace,  SE19

Crystal Palace Dinosaur Park

Photo credit: https://www.visitlondon.com

On a map
Google map of Crystal Palace

Dulwich is often referred to as South London’s answer to Hampstead, but we think that Crystal Palace is the real alternative to the NW3 postcode. Tree-lined streets? ✅. Independent bars and restaurants? ✅. A huge open space? ✅. Impressive hilltop views? ✅.

Crystal Palace might just have one of coolest town names in London. Derived from a Crystal Palace, which was constructed in 1851 for the Great Exhibition, the name remained long after the building sadly burnt down in 1936.

Properties in Crystal Palace mainly consist of period homes, either converted into apartments or still functioning as full houses. The area is located on a hill and features some seriously impressive views of the London skyline. It may also include the most fun park in London. There’s a maze and a dinosaur park.a Jurassic Park, eat your heart out.

Cheapest one bedroom property: £850 per month
Average one bedroom property: £1,090 per month

Search for Crystal Palace rental properties

The Great Eight

Just in case you want it summed up nicely in list form, here are the eight most affordable areas in London and their cheapest rental price.

  1. Hornchurch - £775pcm
  2. Bromley - £800pcm
  3. Woolwich - £800pcm
  4. Croydon - £850pcm
  5. Crystal Palace - £850pcm
  6. Leytonstone - £850pcm
  7. Colindale - £930pcm
  8. Brentford - £975pcm


Removal vans at the ready

It turns out there are more than a few trendy areas to live in London that are still affordable. We’ve covered each part of the Big Smoke, from south to west and north to east. Do you agree these are the best postcodes on offer for affordable prices? Or, in your opinion, have we missed any? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

And don’t forget, you can search for properties all over London, either on the Movebubble app, which is available on the App Store and the Play Store, or directly on the website.

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