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London areas - where to buy?

edited 5 February 2014 at 5:52PM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
115 replies 168.6K views


  • hethmarhethmar Forumite
    10.7K posts
    Car Insurance Carver! Cashback Cashier
    Ive lived both sides of the river and was born in Bermondsey. I guess if you are thinking of buying then I would look at Herne Hill - this is becoming very trendy and yet more affordable than places like Dulwich.

    Parts of Rotherhithe and Bermondsey are now very gentrified and what used to be the Docks are now "Quays" - with water/marina views. However for £200k you would get something that looks like a small holiday flat - certainly I couldnt live in such a small space.

    If you are thinking of just renting - then go for something trendy and central like Islington or Highgate(hey Camden is well trendy - depends on which bit you live in). Hoxton in East London is fast becoming too expensive to buy - I dont know what rents are like.

    With the planned Olympics in East London and all the expensive refurbishments of the area which will take place for it, Id have thought it was a good place for investment.
  • matm00 wrote:
    I read the above thread with interest as I'm relocating to London in the next 4-5 months due to starting a new job in Soho (commuting from Swindon everyday at the moment).

    I'm looking for a 1 or 2 bedroom place to rent and I have a budget of upto £300 per week.

    For that budget you could get a nice flat in Elephant & Castle in the Metro Central Heights complex, with residents pool, gym, steam room, Jacuzzi, 24 hour porter/security and secure underground car park. (I live there). Some of the flats have spectacular views - I'm on the 13th floor and can see Big Ben, London Eye, St Pauls, Tate Modern, BT Tower, Tower Bridge etc.

    You could actually walk to Soho in the commuting time you specify. When I worked at Oxford Circus I used to walk home and it took me about 45 minutes or so. Now I work in Victoria which takes 35 minutes walk or 15 minute bus. Alternatively you can get a bus to Piccadilly Circus in about 15 minutes or so (or tube in about 8). Also you can take the Bakerloo line to Paddington, which takes less than 20 minutes.
  • SapphireSapphire Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Debt-free and Proud!
    I've lived in various areas of London (although not east London), and would recommend the following of the areas I know, in terms of being lively, interesting and relatively safe:

    South Kensington
    Holland Park

    I've lived in Islington but it is pretty rough (as are surrounding areas such as Hackney and Stoke Newington). A few weeks ago I was around Angel, Islington, where I used to live, and was amazed at the change for the worse. Around the back of the station where there are some lovely - but now often neglected - Georgian houses, there was a fight in the street, and I was accosted by a drunk. There were other drunks hanging around in the streets.

    I've also lived in Clapham, and wouldn't say it is safe at all - same goes for other parts of SW London, such as Tooting (ugh), Streatham and Balham.

    Coming back late at night in these areas I felt I was taking my life into my hands travelling by public transport (I sometimes used to start shaking when walking along the street and someone spoke to me). I ended up getting taxis back if I was staying out late. There's so much aggression everywhere you go there. These areas are also incredibly dirty and overcrowded.

    I also found travelling anywhere by Tube in the rush hour a complete nightmare - I felt it was taking years off my life.

    If you can avoid it, I'd recommend not living in such places - better to live in a decent area on the outskirts of London and travel in by train, which is far less stressful and often faster than travelling within London by Tube.
  • gromitukgromituk Forumite
    3.1K posts
    Of course the list of places you gave may be nice places to live - they are some of the most expensive areas of London. To money save, you need to live in less prestigious but still pleasant areas. Unfortunately, if you want to be a drunken wobble from trendy bars, you will end up paying both in price and likely also in security. You'd think, for instance, that Wimbledon was a nice place to live, but it is so crammed full of binge drinkers that the police are imposing "no drinking on the street" orders in the centre.
    Time is an illusion - lunch time doubly so.
  • lowislowis Forumite
    2K posts
    i wouldn't say islington was 'rough', it is certainly a mixed borough with some roads being home to millionaires living next door to people on benefits and i think this is what makes islington so interesting.

    i used to live in hampstead - which is lovely - but soul-less and has little to offer apart from people with too much money, over-proced shops/restaurants/cafes and the heath - and if you want to live by the heath then head for highgate or gospel oak, the vibe is much nicer.
  • lynzpowerlynzpower Forumite
    25.3K posts
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    When I moved to london I moved into a houseshare in Surrey Quays.
    Nice enough, but soulless as hell on the marina. I lived opposite the wibbly wobbly pub on a boat, that was cool but a right old trek from the tube stations. the docks flooded when I lived there and it was a right nigtmare to get to work, as canada water tube station got flooded out too.

    I moved from there to Mile End, then to stepney, then to devons rd/bow, and now in Bow "proper" Roman Rd end. I do like it round here. Since moving into tower hamlets Ive had no problems crime wise whatsoever. We dont have the coffee shop culture, but then we dont pay for the privilidge. saying that its predominantly professionals/familys round my roads. Transport superb, council excellent IME. Clean. Spitting distance from canary wharf/ stratford for local shopping, 4 stops into liverpool street.

    I wouldnt live in South London again, transport was just too much grief, and I got refused by cabs taking me once too often.

    When we move we are looking for round this way, Isle of dogs, leytonstone is quite nice, or maybe out a bit further on the central line, we might even consider epping. Weve looked at woodford, walthamstow etc too, reports pretty good. But the central line is the most useful for us.

    I agree with other posters its the transport you most want to plan around, I personally dont like changing tubes if I can help it these days, so the central is best for us. there are good and bad roads everywhere but Id never live in
    elephant & castle
    brixton/ streatham
    surrey quays
    any NW places like kilburn, cricklewood, anywhere out that way.
    Maida vale/hill, anywhere off harrow rd.
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • wigginsmumwigginsmum Forumite
    4.2K posts
    We're fairly happy in Walthamstow - the transport links are excellent, the area will improve with the local Olympics work, and it's just starting to go a wee bit upmarket with Portuguese restaurants, coffee bars etc. We've lived there for 6 years and have never experienced any crime.

    Now if they can just get the cinema re-opened ... it's the only London borough without a cinema.
    The ability of skinny old ladies to carry huge loads is phenomenal. An ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.
  • Bargain_RzlBargain_Rzl Forumite
    6.3K posts
    wigginsmum wrote:
    Now if they can just get the cinema re-opened ... it's the only London borough without a cinema.
    Is it really? Somebody tell me where there's one in the London Borough of Lewisham - as far as I know, there hasn't been one round there since the (rubbish) one in Catford closed down about 5 years ago.
    maryjane01 wrote:
    There was a big debate in the local SE newpaper (news shopper) because somebody from abroad visited a friend in Catford and wrote to the paper saying they thought it should be called Crapford which sparked a bit of local debate. The sad thing is many of the long standing locals agreed the area was fairly crap.
    Having lived in Catford in the past, I'd certainly agree that the central shopping area is pretty crappy and run down (specially the concrete shopping centre with the big plastic cat on the roof :D), and the traffic during peak periods can be appalling, but there's an awful lot of decent housing - including good-condition terraces, Victorian semis and conversion flats, and even some really nice streets with big posh detached houses, like Ravensbourne Park. I liked the area in general - it was better than a lot of the other cheap bits of Zone 3, with good commuter rail links - and if my circumstances hadn't changed I might well still be living there now. They really ought to bulldoze that shopping centre though - and that high-rise block on the one-way system :rolleyes:
    :)Operation Get in Shape :)
  • goldbyrongoldbyron Forumite
    790 posts
    In response to areas to avoid I would second Islington. Often viewed as swanky and trendy (which it is in pockets) however I have worked for social services in the borough for the past 5 years. There are some very rough and poor areas (particulary Holloway Rd, Finsbury Park, Old St, Kings Cross end). The only decent bits are parts by the Angel but I think Highbury is the best part.

    Other areas:
    Tottenham (definitely agree with this)/Seven Sisters
    Hackney (save for Stoke Newington pockets)
    Leyton/Leytonstone/Stratford (I know there will be investment but I really detest Leyton - lived there for 3 years and it has got worse).
    Not keen on SE London

    Decent areas:
    Crouch End

    I have lived in Walthamstow and Woodford Green (just into Essex) for most of my life. Walthamstow is decent for the cost and is improving - ignoring recent spate of alleged terrorists living there! Woodford Green/South Woodford (E18) are nice, greener areas and best part of NE London in my opinion.
  • ImeldaImelda Forumite
    1.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I've lived in various parts of SE London (Ladywell, Catford, Welling, about to move to Camberwell), most of which I think a lot of people would turn up their noses at.

    Ha ha, Bargain Rzl, I live in Welling, moved from Camberwell last year(couldn't afford to buy there) and loads of people at work turn their noses up at me too. It does the job for me, cheap enough (1 bed flat under £120k), safe enough and not too far from the centre of London where I work. My advice, if you're renting is not to commit yourself to one area, move about and try different locations.
    Saving for an early retirement!
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