The cheapest places to get on the property ladder in London


Getting on the property ladder as a first time buyer isn’t always easy, especially if you’re looking to buy in London where prices are significantly higher.

But the good news is, there are still some areas in the capital that are affordable for first time buyers - it’s all about finding the right property in the right location.

If you’re hoping to take your first steps onto the London property ladder, here’s our guide to the best areas for first time buyers.

Best areas for first time buyers in London

Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham is London’s most popular area for first time buyers. The area is being transformed by large-scale regeneration, including the creation of a new waterfront town with 10,800 new homes, the largest free school in the country, and a new train station.

The average property price in the areas is £275,497 and around 95 percent of properties are considered to be affordable for first time buyers.

Looking for properties in Barking and Dagenham


Croydon has undergone a significant amount of development over the past few years. The brutalist buildings that the area is known for are still there, but they are increasingly being joined by new residential developments.

Properties in Croydon range from traditional Victorian homes to large, detached 1920s properties. The average cost of a property in Croydon is £367,768, with flats selling for an average of £271,302.

Hither Green

Just a 10-minute train ride from London Bridge, Hither Green is well-connected to central areas of London, including Tower Bridge and Victoria, without the hefty price tag. The area is also popular with families, thanks to its high performing local schools.

Properties in the area are mainly Victorian and Edwardian terraces, with an average price of £482,341.


Located in South London, Sutton is just a 30-minute train ride from Victoria and London Bridge. This vibrant, creative area is popular with young professionals and families, with a range of theatres, music venues and galleries.

Properties in the area are a mix of predominantly 20th century and Edwardian designs, with prices averaging at £277,107.

Looking for properties in Sutton?


Located in South London, Streatham is just five miles from Charing Cross. An affordable alternative to popular areas like Clapham, Balham and Brixton, Streatham is home to a vibrant high street and highly rated schools, and has undergone extensive regeneration.

The average cost of properties in the area is £535,181, with flats selling for an average of £396,031.

Looking for properties in Streatham?

Royal Docks

Located in East London, Royal Docks is one of the capital’s most exciting areas of regeneration.

With a mix of properties available, including everything from traditional listed buildings to contemporary new developments, Royal Docks is also home to bars and restaurants, plenty of green spaces, and incredible views of the River Thames. It’s also just 20-minutes outside of central London.

The average price of a property in Royal Docks is £554,509, with properties ranging from £146,700 - £1,417,500.

Looking for properties in Royal Docks?


A quiet South West London suburb close to Battersea, Wandsworth is benefiting from a whole host of new property developments as first time buyers, families and professionals discover the area’s appeal.

Just 15-minutes from the heart of the capital, Wandsworth has bars, restaurants and green space aplenty – not to mention one of the country’s lowest council tax rates! Flats in the area are most affordable, averaging at £557,699.

Spotlight on Croydon

Croydon is an up and coming area that remains affordable for first time buyers. With ongoing regeneration, and over £50million of investment planned over the next 20 years, the area has seen a significant uplift in prices over recent years – a trend that looks set to continue. However, properties in the area are still affordable for first time buyers.

So, not only is Croydon affordable, property in the area also looks set to be a great investment.

Helping you get on the property ladder

When you’re figuring out where you can afford to buy a property as a first time buyer in London, make sure you look into any help that’s available to you.

The government’s Help to Buy scheme is benefiting many first time buyers across England, Scotland and Wales, including London.

Help to Buy ISA scheme

The Help to Buy ISA scheme came to a close for new accounts on 30 November 2019.  However, if you set up one of the ISAs prior to the closing date, you will be able to continue saving into your account until November 2029. 

Designed to help first-time buyers save for a deposit, the Government will boost the savings you’ve accumulated by 25 percent. So, for every £200 you save, you will receive a bonus of £50, up to a maximum of £3,000.

To qualify for the bonus, the London property you are buying must:

  • Have a purchase price of up to £450,000
  • Be the only home you will own
  • Be where you intend on living
  • Be purchased with a mortgage

You can also use the Help to Buy ISA with other government schemes.

Help to Buy Shared Ownership

The Help to Buy Shared Ownership scheme offers first time buyers the chance to buy between 25 and 75 percent of the property, and then pay rent on the remaining share. 

The scheme is available to buyers in London if:

  • Your household earns £90,000 a year or less
  • You are a first time buyer, you used to own a home but can’t afford one now, or you are an existing shared owner looking to move.

Under the scheme, you can buy a newly built home or an existing one via a housing association’s resale programme. You will need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the property’s purchase price.

Help to Buy Equity Loan

Available from 1 April 2021, the new Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme will allow buyers to borrow up to 40 percent of the cost of a new build property in London.

You will then pay a deposit of five percent or more, and arrange a mortgage of 25 percent or more to make up the rest. You won’t be charged interest on the 20 percent loan for the first five years after buying the property, after which you will start paying interest starting at 1.75 percent of the loan.

The loan will need to be paid in full after 25 years, when the term of the mortgage ends, or when you sell the property – whichever comes first.


Why choose Gordon & Co?

 Founded in 1948, Gordon and Co is a progressive London-based property agency, with proven expertise in sales, lettings, valuations and new developments.

We deliver the highest standard of service to all of our customers, driven by our entrepreneurial spirit, motivation and an impeccable level of service and care.

So, if you’re looking for more information the best areas for first time buyers in London, please get in touch with a member of our experienced team. We’re always happy to help.