With prices in many parts of the city already beginning to fall, buying in London is a minefield. Striking a balance between liveability and getting a good return on investment is the trick we should all be aiming to pull off. Afterall, buy somewhere that’s already got too many tattooed men selling flat whites and you’ll end up paying the price later when you realise values in the neighbourhood have topped out. Equally, buy somewhere that’s cheap, but far below the radar for cool hunters and you could end up with the same problem.
We’ve picked out some areas in the north, east, south and west of the city that have that perfect trade off between up and coming property prices and great liveability. We’ve also included a few neighbourhoods that will turn out to be red hearings if you’re expecting a good return on investment.
Do buy in… Hornsey
Hornsey has to be one of the most undervalued neighbourhoods not just in north London, but possibly the whole city. Its stock of edwardian and victorian houses is fantastic, the parks and pubs are great too, with Alexandra Palace, a huge music and events space towering over it all. Although its central avenue of shops and businesses isn’t quite up to the standards of neighbouring Muswell Hill and Crouch End yet, it’s perfectly serviceable. Buzzing Harringay Green Lanes is right next door too, with the best Turkish food in the city.
Try a 3 bed detached house with Alexandra park on the doorstep:
Although pleasant enough to live in, Islington has had its day if you’re hoping to make a good return in a few years time. If you are set on living here you will still find some cheaper properties around Holloway Road, but liveability drops the further north you go.
Do buy in… Victoria Park
Victoria Park is a huge green space in what’s probably London’s coolest borough, Hackney. Because it’s so large it’s surrounded by a multitude of neighbourhoods, all with quite different characters. On its west are Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath, which are already looking quite pricey. If you’re looking for a good return on investment search east of the park in Hackney Wick and Fish Island. There are a great number of new build apartments coming up and its warehouse districts are still full of creatives and independent cafes and bars. The canal is also a big draw and neighbouring Stratford is set to get branches of the V&A and The Smithsonian in the not so distant future.
Try this 3 bed flat next to the canal.
Although the house prices may be tempting, this area of London still has a long way to go in terms of liveability. Situated far from the action you’d expect to find in the capital and a dearth of transport connection and amenities means this is best avoided for now. On the upside, some good schools here and close to London City Airport.
5 bedroom semi-detached in Dagenham.
Do buy in… Nunhead and Brockley
Independent shops everywhere and a villagey vibe in these two south east London neighbourhoods. There’s also a great housing stock with some well priced properties still to be had. Plenty of parks too, a personal favourite being Telegraph Hill Park which boasts a great view over the rest of the city. Although it’s not especially well connected for getting to central London, there’s a fast connection to Canary Wharf and Docklands via the London Overground. If you’re looking for a slower pace of life within spitting distance of your job in finance, then this could be just the ticket.
4 bedroom family home close to Brockley station.
Don’t buy in… Dulwich
Walking through Dulwich village you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Hertfordshire village rather than zone 2. Ridiculously pleasant though it is, property prices are sky high, in part because it also has some of London’s best schools. Steer clear for a good return on investment.
Do buy in… Richmond
Famed for a gauche sort of affluence, it’s not easy to find a place that’s highly liveable, yet not astronomically expensive in west London. But, one neighbourhood really stands out – Richmond. It’s an incredible place to live and still, by west London standards, relatively cheap. Prices are on the up too. The commute into the city is not the fastest, but its leafy suburban roads, incredible pubs and restaurants and of course Richmond Park and Kew Gardens, more than make up for it. An evening walk to see the deer in the park followed by a pint at the White Cross. What could be better?
Here’s a 2 bed terrace close to Richmond station.
Partly because you can’t afford it anyway, unless you happen to be an oligarch or sheik. Kensington and Chelsea can also feel rather staid at times, not just in terms of property prices. House prices topped out long ago and fell by more than a fifth on average last year.
A 1 bed flat for just shy of £2m.