Where to buy a house in London:five under-the-radar areas to find three-bedroom homes for around £550,000
Where to buy a house for the price of a central London flat without leaving town.
Despite a decade of surging house prices, almost 100 locations still offer the chance to buy a house with three bedrooms or more for less than £550,000 in London.
The research by Savills exclusively for Homes & Property is great news for first-time buyers, who are buying later — average age 37 — and consequently needing more from their first homes.
It is a safe bet that the majority believed they could manage only a flat or else move out of the capital altogether.
Clearly some locations highlighted in today’s research are cheap for a reason, but drill down to find some great micro-locations even die-hard Londoners may not have heard of.
Higham Hill, Waltham Forest
Higham Hill in Waltham Forest has an average house price of £455,160. It is walking distance to Lloyd Park, Walthamstow Village, Walthamstow Central’s shops and the William Morris Gallery.
The watery acres of Walthamstow Wetlands is on the doorstep. And stacks of investment is flooding into Blackhorse Road to the south, with an emphasis on arts-led regeneration.
Higham Hill itself is residential, with streets of neat period houses.
Schools: generally very good, and Greenleaf Primary School, Eden Girls’ School and Walthamstow School for Girls are all rated “outstanding”.
Transport: Blackhorse Road station is 15-minutes’ walk for the Victoria Line and London Overground (Zone 3).
Noel Park, Haringey
A slightly more expensive option is Noel Park, in Haringey, at £536,734.
Tucked away behind the scruffy but useful Wood Green shopping centre is this neat grid of pretty, cottagey houses.
Noel Park was purpose built at the turn of the 1900s as model homes for workers. Great effort went into its 2,000-or-so houses, some of which have turret-like gables or porches.
“Once moving to Noel Park was a compromise, people would move over from Muswell Hill or Alexandra Palace but it was a bit of an overspill,” says Elan Silver, director of Winkworth Harringay. “Now it is not seen like that, it has gone past that point… the schools are good and the houses are really nice.”
Lordship Recreation Ground is nearby and parents love the area because of its schools.
Schools: Noel Park Primary School, Belmont Junior School and Woodside High School all have top marks from Ofsted (there are no duds in the area).
Transport: Wood Green station is on the Piccadilly line (Zone 3).
King Henry VIII spent his childhood in Eltham and although little remains of his palace, this green and pleasant suburb, with its Edwardian houses around Eltham Park, cottagey garden suburb homes on the Progress Estate and an improving high street, is one to watch.
The average price in New Eltham is £478,000, while Eltham North (£544,620) and Eltham South (£547,000) are a little higher.
Lynburge Rene, of Yopa, lives in the area with his young family. “The high street has undergone a redevelopment and there are some really nice shops and restaurants in there now. There are lots of parks and very good transport links,” he says.
Buyers tend to be young families priced out of more central parts of south London, who will pay around £350,000 for a two-bedroom house and £450,000 for three bedrooms.
Schools: schools are generally very good, notably the “outstanding” Eltham CofE Primary School and Harris Academy Greenwich(seniors).
Transport: trains from Eltham Station (Zone 4) to Cannon Street take about half an hour, while to Liverpool Street take just over 20 minutes. From New Eltham (Zone 4) to London Bridge, Charing Cross or Cannon Street it’s about half an hour.
Another affordable but currently down-at-heel south London option is Catford, with average prices of £540,000 in the Catford South ward.
Lewisham council has long-term regeneration plans but the area already has its pluses. There is green space (Ladywell Fields), period houses in the Culverley Green conservation area and Corbett Estate, and it is handy for Hither Green.
Schools: Holy Cross Catholic Primary School and Brindishe Green school are rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. However the local secondary, Conisborough College, “requires improvement”.
Transport: Catford has two Zone 3 stations, with services to Blackfriars, London Bridge and Charing Cross (22, 15 and 25 minutes respectively).
Manor Park, Newham
Manor Park is a stand-out because it will be linked to Crossrail. Despite this imminent transport upgrade, average house prices are a reasonable £498,000.
Manor Park is a classic Victorian railway suburb with neat streets of terraces and an improbably grand library now repurposed as an arts and community space. Its downfall is the slightly dismal Romford Road.
Dominic Cocklin, director of Winkworth, believes Crossrail will “liven up the area” where there is a good choice of houses that need work and those which have been renovated by early-adopters to the area. “It is really good value, especially if you are willing to roll your sleeves up,” he says.
Schools: nearby “outstanding schools” include Essex and St Winefride’s schools (primary) and Little Ilford and Plashet schools (secondary).
Transport: there are two local Zone 3 stations, Woodgrange Park and Manor Park, with Overground services to Liverpool Street (15 minutes) and Fenchurch Street (about half an hour), plus access to the Jubilee line via Stratford.