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Revealed: London’s first-time buyer hotspots

Harold Wood tops the table for people buying their first home

It’s still possible to buy your first home in London for under £250,000, according to new research by Hamptons International.

The estate agency has revealed London’s first-time buyer hotspots, and some are more affordable than you might expect.

Here, we take a look at the most popular areas and offer tips for prospective first-time buyers in the capital.

  • If you’re a first-time buyer and need some advice on your mortgage options, call Which? Mortgage Advisers on 0800 197 8461.

Most popular places for first-time buyers

Harold Wood has soared to the top of the table of London’s first-time buyer hotspots – with its popularity perhaps influenced by the upcoming launch of Crossrail later this year.

The town will be two stops from the eastern end of the new Elizabeth Line – offering journeys into Canary Wharf in 32 minutes and the West End in 40 minutes.

Last year, 74% of homes sold in the area went to first-time buyers, who paid an average of £219,310 for their properties – around half of the overall average first-time buyer price in the capital.

Area Percentage of homes sold to FTBs Average price paid by FTBs
Harold Wood 74% £219,310
Northolt 73% £240,630
Bromley 72% £388,520
Upper Holloway & Archway 70% £557,290
Sutton 69% £344,860


London’s cheapest and most-expensive first-time buyer hotspots

While Harold Wood is the area with the highest percentage of first-time buyers, it’s only the third cheapest, with Becontree (London Borough of Barking & Dagenham) offering properties for an average of just over £200,000.

Prospective buyers might be best proceeding with caution, however, as house prices there have grown by almost a fifth in the past two years.

Area Average price paid by FTBs Two-year house price growth
Becontree £202,320 18%
Becontree Heath £208,530 20%
Harold Wood £219,310 12%
Northolt £240,630 14%
Kingsbury £300,640 11%

At the other end of the scale, North London is popular with first-time buyers who have more cash to burn, and three of the top 20 hotspots boast prices that are higher than the overall average for the capital.

Area Average price paid by FTBs Two-year house price growth
Upper Holloway & Archway £557,290 13%
Cricklewood & Willesden Green £502,520 1%
Stanmore £444,570 3%
Walthamstow £419,520 21%
Lewisham £419,060 17%

The full top-20 first-time buyer hotspots

The table below shows the 20 areas of London where the highest proportion of homes have been sold to first-time buyers in the last year.

Buying your first home in London

While it remains possible to find value in some parts of London, chasing trends isn’t always the way to go. What was up-and-coming last year could now be over the hill.

Indeed, even the lowest prices in the capital remain considerably higher than elsewhere in the country.

When we assessed data on Help to Buy hotspots last month, we found that only three of the top 10 most popular cities had average property prices of above £200,000.

And as the graphic below shows, while prices in prime areas of London may be dropping off, there is still some upward pressure on average prices overall in the capital.


With this in mind, it’s important to thoroughly research the best areas for you, and to get advice from a impartial mortgage broker on how much you might be able to borrow before rushing in to buying your first home.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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