It is no secret that cities are expensive places to live.
Job opportunities, transport links and a fast-paced way of life make capitals an attractive notion for many. However, according to the latest worldwide cost of living survey, London has risen eight places on the world’s most expensive city list in just a year.
Whilst foreign counterparts such as Paris and New York are comparably more expensive, one aspect of London life that many people struggle with financially is property. The capital’s rental market struggles with demand outweighing supply as people cannot feasibly save for a deposit to secure a home of their own.
London salaries and property prices
Back in the 1960s securing a home in London was still expensive. However, by today’s standard, it was achievable. The average property price in the city was £2,530, meaning a 10% deposit was £253. Today a minimum deposit of £40,000 is the norm.
Currently, buying a one-bedroom flat in the capital within one kilometre of an underground station requires a salary of £86,476. Given that the average annual pay in London is £35,564, you can understand why individuals are hard pushed to save a deposit, let alone consider making mortgage repayments.
Affordable places to buy a house in London
Typically, London homes spend an average of 126 days on the market. With property prices so high many city dwellers wanting to sell up are struggling to find potential buyers with enough income to put down a large enough deposit.
However, Sold, the UK’s only totally free estate agency, conducted research into the capital’s property prices to make life easier for buyers. Their interactive map of London house prices allows users to discover average property prices based on London Underground stations.
Using the data Sold acquired through their research, the cheapest and most expensive London tube lines were distinguished.
London’s most expensive tube line
The Circle Line is London’s priciest to live on, with the average property price coming in at £1,224,852. The most affordable stations to live around on the Circle Line are Goldhawk Road, Latimer Road and Ladbroke Grove. However, a minimum 10% deposit of £60,000 would still be required. Compared to the likes of High Street Kensington boasting an average property price of £3,014,658, those Zone 2 locations appear much cheaper in comparison. Other expensive stations include South Kensington, Westbourne Park, Notting Hill Gate and Gloucester Road – all falling between £2 million and £3 million.
London’s cheapest tube line to buy on
Whilst people may claim the Metropolitan line ‘doesn’t exist after Wembley Park’ it should not be snubbed. The average property price on the Metropolitan Line is £682,645, the lowest in London.
Many people working in or wanting access to Central London can be precious about what London Fare Zone they live in, with Zones 1,2 and 3 being the most sought after, but also delivering the most expensive properties.
Northwick Park and Preston Road are Zone 4 Metropolitan Line stations where properties can be purchased for under £400,000 and offer an easy 20 to 30-minute tube ride into central locations such as Oxford Circus.
Eastcote is slightly further out, nestled in Zone 5. Whilst journeys into Zone 1 can take around 40 minutes the average property price is an affordable £269,639.
How much deposit do I need to buy a house in London?
The rule of thumb is most properties require a 10% deposit. There are schemes available that will allow for 5%, but mortgage repayments could be higher due to this. Furthermore, it is worth remembering that mortgages are often loosely four times your salary. Therefore, even on London’s average salary of £35,564 you would only be lent around £143,000 from a provider and this is certainly not enough to secure a home anywhere in the city.
Without the help of family or inheritance saving enough money for a deposit on a London property is unachievable for the majority. However, with some locations offering short tube commutes into the city and average property prices under £400,000 in some cases, if you shop around and buy with a partner or friends, owning a property in London could be a reality.
Main Image Via Flickr – By Rick Ligthelm