Postcodes outside of zones one, two and three continue to increase in popularity as renters look for alternative and more affordable options. One of those areas is Mottingham, a southeast London neighbourhood within the historic county of Kent.
But don't let the Kent label make you think that Mottingham is miles away from the city centre. In fact, it's just nine miles from Charing Cross, which can be accessed via train.
So there's connectivity in Mottingham, but what else is there? We're discovering the SE9 postcode in this London guide and looking at whether you should consider moving to Mottingham.
On a map
The first record of Mottingham was in 862 AD when it was recorded as Modingahema, which means the land of Moda's people and is interpreted as "the proud place".
During the Saxon times, the area was referred to as Modingham, which was taken from the Saxon word Modig and ham. Mottingham was part of Eltham until 1866, when it was separated and became its own area.
This was the same year the station opened, and footfall increased as more people started moving to Mottingham. In 1965, Mottingham moved from Kent to Greater London.
Who lives there?
Mottingham has a population of around 13,000 and a median age of 37. It's primarily an area where people own their home, with only 37% of residents renting. However, an increasing number of renters are moving here thanks to affordable rents, which are lower than many London neighbourhoods.
Renting in Mottingham
There's a good mixture of homes in Mottingham. Expect to find period Thirties properties, as well as a cluster of Victorian townhouses. Many of the older homes have been converted in apartments and maisonettes, and there are some new-build properties too.
Expect to pay around £1,100 per month for a one-bedroom home in Mottingham and £1,300 per month for a two-bedroom apartment. Three-bed-and-up properties start from around £1,500 per month.
Mottingham station is the primary transport hub in the area and has direct services to Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge and Waterloo. There are also services to Gravesend in Kent. There's a local bus network taking you into areas like Eltham and Bromley. Mottingham is located in travel Zone 4.
Mottingham Fish Bar
Get some fish and chips at Mottingham Fish bar, a low-key but tasty spot on Mottingham Road. There's a small seating area, but the dishes are often best enjoyed as a takeaway, so you can tuck into your cod while watching Netflix.
Jolpai Indian Cuisine
If you like Indian cuisine, then get yourself down to Jolpai. The menu features a range of treats, including options from the grill, balti dishes, biryani, tandoor and chef recommended meals. There's a veggie option too.
Eltham Grill House
Experience some authentic Turkish cuisine at Eltham Grill House, where there's a mouth-watering charcoal grill to enjoy. From traditional fish to lamb shish, there's an extensive selection of dishes for you to sample.
Things to do in Mottingham
Eltham Palace and Gardens
Nearby, Eltham just so happens to feature a palace and gardens. The house features a great medieval hall of a former royal residence, which received an Art Deco extension in the 1930s.
Located opposite the train station, The Tarn is a garden area with a bird sanctuary. Enjoy a pleasant walk by the lake, do a spot of bird watching or just laze away on the grass during the warmer months of the year.
Bromley town centre
Admittedly, Mottingham doesn't have much of a high street with shops. Still, that doesn't matter too much as Bromley is a little over three miles away and is easily accessible. Shop at The Glades shopping centre or walk the pedestrianised area and pop in and out of the local shops.
Moving to Mottingham
The SE9 postcode of Mottingham enjoys excellent travel links and some of the most affordable rents in the capital. If you're looking to move a bit further out but still want easy access back into the centre of London, Mottingham could just be the place for you.