first-timers to buy map of greater london

Five areas for first-timers to buy where prices are rising

Exclusive new research reveals the east London electoral ward of Gascoigne in Barking and Dagenham as a prime location for first-timers to buy hoping to make a savvy investment.

Rayners Lane in Harrow and Pollards Hill in Merton complete the top three flat-hunting locations with room for price growth, largely thanks to regeneration projects, according to research by Post Office Money and Proportunity.

The prop-tech start-up uses artificial intelligence to predict where first-timers to buy are likely to get the most value.

It compares more than 100 sets of data, including historical price growth, school index and crime rates, as well as regeneration plans.

Ten wards, or electoral districts, in five boroughs were identified as having the best investment potential for first-timers to buy, with prices of flats in all the areas rising at least 30 per cent above the London average.

“We used wards as they offer a good compromise between being small enough areas so all property prices move in a similar manner, but are also large enough so we can draw statistically significant conclusions from price variations across time,” says CEO Vadim Toader.

1. Barking and Dagenham, east London

Perhaps unsurprisingly, London’s cheapest borough for first-time buyers is home to the most areas with growth potential. There is a swathe of regeneration plans, most notably the Barking Riverside scheme whose bold mission is to become “Barcelona on Thames”.

Four wards are expected to see the biggest price growth in the short-term, with Gascoigne coming out top, where flats currently sell for £220,000 on average – a 16 per cent increase since last year.

The ward scores highly in terms of regeneration potential, thanks to the redevelopment of the Gascoigne estate, where housing association East Thames will be building 1,575 homes, two schools, a community centre and a public square linking the estate with the town centre.

But it also has good schools and a high crime improvement rate, which are further indicators of growth potential according to the report.

Nearby wards Longbridge and Eastbury are also expected to benefit from the estate’s redevelopment. They both score above 8 out of 10 on the school index and more than 7 out of 10 in terms of crime rate improvements. Alibon, completes the top four.

2. Harrow, west London

Harrow is three years into a £1.75 billion 12-year regeneration strategy that is already attracting single and young couples to the area.

Prices of flats in Edgware and West Harrow wards are already rising 50 per cent faster than the rest of London and are set to benefit further from the regeneration plans.

Rayners Lane also still has room to grow after the recent regeneration of Rayners Lane estate, which last year was branded the “benchmark” for similar projects.


Ward Regeneration Index (/10) Transport Links (/10) School Index (/10) Crime Rate Improvements (/10)
Gascoigne (Barking ad Dagenham) 10 6 9.5 7.5
Rayners Lane (Harrow) 5 7 9.7 8.2
Pollards Hill (Merton) 10 4 8.7 7.8
Northwick Park (Brent) 8 8 10 8
Alibon (Barking and Dagenham) 3 3 6 7
Longbridge (Barking and Dagenham) 9 4.4 8.4 7.5
Eastbury (Barking and Dagenham) 9 4.4 8.3 7.9
Edgware (Harrow) 8 7.5 8.7 5
West Harrow (Harrow) 8 5 10 8
Romford Town (Havering) 10 9.2 8.4 6.4

3. Merton, south-west London

A £35 million regeneration plan for Pollards Hill housing estate was approved last October, in which 400 homes will be refurbished and 90 flats built.

Flat prices in the area are expected to rise alongside the regeneration plans.

4. Brent, north-west London

Northwick Park receives top mark in terms of schools, improving crime rates and easy commutes to central London on the Metropolitan line.

House prices didn’t see any growth last year, but plans to build an estate of 500 homes are in the very early stages, making this an area to watch.

5. Havering, east London

By the end of next year, Romford will be one of the stops of the highly anticipated fast train network, the Elizabeth line. The area has already seen significant regeneration schemes and house price growth thanks to this.

Earlier this year, plans for 850 homes in the Bridge Close area moved forward, with planning applications expected this year, giving the Romford Town ward an extra boost.

Blog Post from Evening Standard Homes & Property

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