The 11 cheapest places to live in London

Explore the cheapest places to live in London, offering a balance of affordability, quality of life, and access to essential amenities.

The 11 cheapest places to live in London

Updated:23 April 2024

London is the most expensive place to live in the United Kingdom and among the top 20 most expensive places to live worldwide. However, that does not mean the entire capital is out of reach.

Finding the most affordable places to live in London can help you enjoy the vibrant city life without stretching your budget too thin. This brings us to the question: Where are the cheapest places to live in London?

Top affordable boroughs in London

From regeneration areas bringing new life and affordability to historic boroughs, to quiet, suburban enclaves offering value for money, London presents a spectrum of options for those seeking affordability without compromising quality of life. We'll explore these options in London where affordability is still very much a reality.

Here are 11 of the cheapest places to rent or buy a home in London based on the latest data from London.Gov and Zoopla:

1. Barking and Dagenham

average house price: £308,583
average rent: £1,200 per month

Barking and Dagenham stands as the example of affordability within London, boasting the lowest average house price in the capital at £308,583 and rentals at £1,200 per month.

Historically, Barking and Dagenham has always been among the more economically accessible areas in London due to its industrial heritage. However, while housing costs are lower, rental prices are significantly higher than the national average.

2. Bexley

average house price: £344,254
average rent: £1,100 per month

Bexley emerges as a sanctuary for those seeking financial ease without sacrificing quality of life. Bexley stands out with the lowest rental costs at approximately £1,100 per month among the boroughs.

It has a suburban lifestyle with quieter residential streets, larger plots, and more space for money compared to central London areas. The borough's housing stock includes a mix of detached and semi-detached houses, bungalows, and modern apartments.

It not only offers the lowest rental costs among London boroughs but also stands out for its safety and extensive green spaces. This combination makes Bexley one of the most affordable places to live in London for families.

3. Sutton

average house price: £385,190
average rent: £1,100 per month

Matching Bexley in terms of rental affordability, Sutton also boasts impressive educational achievements among its schools and a commitment to becoming carbon neutral.

It’s particularly appealing for its safety, numerous parks, and green spaces like Nonsuch Park and Grove Park, making it an ideal spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts.

4. Havering

average house price: £371,260
average rent: £1,150 per month

Havering is known for its vast countryside, historic sites, and high life satisfaction scores among residents.

The borough's mix of urban and rural elements provides a unique living experience within London, catering to those who appreciate a slower pace of life without straying too far from the city's heartbeat.

5. Croydon

average house price: £385,488
average rent: £1,129 per month

Croydon is on the rise. Known for its relatively affordable living costs, low levels of resident anxiety, and a major regeneration scheme, Croydon aims to provide a blend of urban and green living spaces.

The borough's transformation on creating a balanced lifestyle attracts a diverse population, from young professionals to families looking for a dynamic yet affordable place to call home.

6. Enfield

average house price: £403,170
average rent: £1,265 per month

As the northernmost borough on this list, Enfield provides a balance of affordable living with ample green spaces and diverse communities.

The borough's suburban nature often means that residents can enjoy larger homes and gardens at prices lower than those found in more central areas. It’s a favoured choice for those seeking a blend of city life and the tranquility of nature.

7. Hillingdon

average house price: £419,162
average rent: £1,250 per month

Hillingdon offers a predominantly suburban lifestyle, characterised by quieter neighborhoods, more spacious homes and gardens, along with popular landmarks such as Heathrow Airport and Ruislip Lido.

: empty benches facing a body of water with blue skies above - a quiet scene at Ruislip Lido in Hillingdon UK

Most importantly, it stands out for its competitive property prices. The borough's affordable housing market, coupled with its rich offering of outdoor activities and landmarks, makes it a compelling option for residents prioritising both budget and lifestyle.

8. Redbridge

average house price: £529,799
average rent: £1,343 per month

Redbridge offers competitive rental prices and is a bit further out, making it a quieter, more family-friendly option.

Redbridge offers a broad spectrum of housing options, ranging from spacious suburban homes to more compact flats. This variety means that potential residents can often find something within their price range, unlike in more central boroughs where options might be limited.

9. Bromley

average house price: £484,466
average rent: £1,859

While on the higher end of the "affordable" spectrum, Bromley attracts young renters with its Shared Ownership and Help to Buy schemes. As such, the borough has become a hotspot for individuals leveraging these financial schemes to gain a foothold in London's property market.

Bromley is also one of London's greenest boroughs, offering an abundance of parks, gardens, and open spaces. This semi-rural ambiance provides residents with a peaceful living environment that’s hard to find in central London.

10. Lewisham

average house price: £453,000
average rent: £1,600 per month

Lewisham is popular among young professionals and families for its vibrant community, but it has the highest rental costs among the cheapest boroughs at £1,600 per month.

Over the past few years, Lewisham has been the focus of numerous regeneration projects aimed at revitalising its town centre. These projects have helped to improve the local infrastructure and amenities while keeping housing prices relatively lower compared to more central London boroughs.

11. Tower Hamlets

average house price: £490,760
average rent: £2,000 per month

Rounding out the list, Tower Hamlet stands out with a variety of housing options, from modern high-rises in Canary Wharf to traditional, lower-cost homes in areas like Bethnal Green and Poplar. The strategic location of Tower Hamlets adds to its appeal by offering residents quick access to major employment centres, enhancing the convenience of living there without the high central London price tag.

Tower Hamlets is also one of London’s most culturally diverse boroughs with an array of shops, markets, restaurants, and cultural festivals.

a vendor selling goods in front of Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Which part of London is cheapest to live in?

North London is generally more expensive and appeals to those seeking proximity to the city center alongside historic charm. South London, on the other hand, offers a more affordable alternative with ample green spaces and a suburban lifestyle.

Both regions have areas undergoing regeneration, but South London's extensive projects, particularly in Croydon and Bexley, have been pivotal in boosting affordability.

North London

  • price: generally higher. North London boasts some of the city's most affluent areas, like Hampstead, Highgate, and Islington, where property prices significantly exceed the London average
  • lifestyle: offers a mix of vibrant cultural scenes, extensive green spaces, and high-end dining and shopping options. The area is well-served by public transport, including the Underground and Overground networks
  • demographic: attracts professionals, affluent families, and individuals seeking proximity to central London's employment and leisure opportunities
  • affordability: despite the overall higher costs, areas like Tottenham and some parts of Enfield offer more affordable housing options

South London

  • price: more varied but generally offers more affordable options. Boroughs like Bexley, Croydon, and Sutton are known for lower average property and rental prices
  • lifestyle: characterised by a more suburban feel, extensive parklands, and a growing number of cultural hotspots. South London benefits from good transport links, including rail and tram services, but it has fewer Underground lines
  • demographic: popular among first-time buyers, young professionals, and families looking for more spacious accommodation at a lower cost
  • affordability: despite the general trend towards affordability, South London also includes more expensive areas, particularly those close to the Thames or with good transport links to central London, like parts of Wandsworth and Lambeth.

Here’s a summary comparing North London vs. South London






North London

higher prices; affluent areas like Hampstead exceed average

vibrant culture, green spaces, high-end options; excellent transport

professionals, affluent families; close to central London

higher costs, but affordable options in Tottenham, Enfield

South London

varied, generally more affordable; lower prices in Bexley etc.

suburban, extensive parks, cultural growth; good rail/tram links

first-time buyers, young families; spacious accommodation

generally affordable; expensive near Thames or good transport

Ultimately, South London offers better value for money, with lower property prices and rents compared to North London. This trend makes it a favored choice for those seeking affordability without moving too far from central London.

The choice between North and South London will ultimately depend on individual preferences, priorities, and budget.

Emerging areas with potential for affordability in London

Now that we’ve tackled the best and cheapest places to live in London, make sure not to overlook areas that are up-and-coming or undergoing regeneration.

Several areas are on the cusp of becoming more accessible due to various factors like development projects, improved transport links, and local government initiatives aimed at increasing housing affordability. Based on ongoing trends, here are five areas that were predicted to have potential for increased affordability and future growth in value.


Once known for its vibrant arts scene and cultural diversity, Hackney was undergoing transformation with new housing schemes and regeneration projects. These developments were expected to increase the supply of affordable housing in the area, making it one of the cheapest places to live in London for young professionals.


The continued development of the Greenwich Peninsula and areas around the Royal Docks was set to bring more affordable housing options to the market. Greenwich's rich history, green spaces, and improving transport links such as the extension of the DLR and Crossrail contributed to its potential as an affordable area.


Benefitting from regeneration around Elephant and Castle and the ongoing development of the Thamesmead area, Southwark was poised to offer more affordable housing options. The borough's strategic location along the Thames and diverse community made it an attractive prospect for those looking for affordability within reach of central London.


With regeneration efforts in Brixton and Streatham and the redevelopment of the Nine Elms area, including the new US Embassy and the extension of the Northern Line, Lambeth was expected to see an increase in affordable housing options. The borough's cultural vibrancy and nightlife, combined with its parklands and community feel, added to its appeal.

Here are other commuter towns near London worth considering:

If you prefer being a tenant, here’s a list of the cheapest places to rent in London.

Criteria for identifying cheap places to live

Housing costs relative to income

The most straightforward criterion is the cost of buying or renting homes relative to average local incomes. Areas are considered more affordable if the housing costs—a combination of rent or mortgage payments, property taxes, and utility expenses—take up a smaller portion of the average household income.

Mortgage rates are an important part of housing costs. Make sure that you’re getting the best rates by checking our interest rates database. This features rates offered by the UK’s top 10 mortgage providers, updated weekly.


The availability and cost of transportation can significantly affect affordability. Areas with extensive public transport options and connectivity to employment centres can lower overall living costs, even if housing prices are slightly higher.

Employment opportunities

Regions with a robust job market or proximity to employment hubs are considered more affordable. They offer residents shorter commutes and higher employment prospects, potentially balancing out higher living costs.

Cost of living

Besides housing, the overall cost of living—including prices for groceries, healthcare, education, and entertainment—plays a critical role in determining an area's affordability. Lower costs in these categories can make an area more appealing, even with higher housing prices.

Tips for finding affordable housing in London

Looking for affordable housing? That’s you and everyone else.

Finding a cheap place to live in London is possible, but you’ll need a strategic approach when buying a home. The good news is it’s not hard to implement.

Here are some tips to find the best and cheapest places to live in London:

Expand your search area

Consider neighborhoods that are a distance away from the city centre. London's public transport network is extensive, so living a bit farther out can often mean more affordable housing without increasing commute times.

If working remotely is an option for you, commuting a few days a week from outside of London might also offer a more affordable lifestyle. Towns on the outskirts of London or even farther afield in the Home Counties might offer more bang for your buck.

Use multiple search platforms

Don’t limit your search to one platform. Use various property websites, local estate agents, and housing apps. Sometimes, local Facebook groups or community boards can have leads on affordable rentals not listed elsewhere.

In addition, many property search websites allow you to set up alerts for new listings that meet your criteria. Being one of the first to know about a new listing can give you a crucial edge.

Consider shared housing or flatshares

This tip especially applies to singles and young professionals, as sharing a flat can significantly reduce living costs. Websites like SpareRoom or Flatshare can help you find like-minded individuals to share with.

Look into housing schemes

The UK government and the Greater London Authority offer several schemes to help people get onto the property ladder, such as Shared Ownership and Help to Buy. These can make purchasing a home more achievable.

Beyond housing schemes, other support for low-income buyers includes the Council Tax Support to lower council tax bills. Each London borough has its own scheme, with eligibility criteria and the level of support varying.

Negotiate rent

If you’re renting, don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent. Landlords are sometimes willing to lower the price for a reliable tenant, especially if you can commit to a longer lease.

Things to consider before looking for a cheap place in London

Finding the cheapest place to live in London comes with its set of challenges and considerations. While affordability is a primary concern for many, it's essential to balance cost with quality of life and other factors that contribute to a fulfilling living experience. After all, price isn’t everything.

Here are other things to consider in your search:

Location vs. commute

Often, the most affordable areas are located away from city centres or employment hubs, leading to longer and potentially more expensive commutes. Balancing the lower cost of living with the time and cost of commuting is a crucial consideration.

The availability and reliability of public transport will also affect your daily life, especially if you don't own a car. Areas with good transport links to major cities or employment centres might offer a good balance between affordability and accessibility.

Housing quality

Lower-cost housing might mean older properties that could require more maintenance or lack modern amenities. It's important to assess the condition and potential additional costs involved in maintaining more affordable homes.

Local amenities

Affordable areas might have fewer local amenities, such as shops, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and schools. Evaluating what local services are available and how their quality matches your needs is essential.

Similarly, access to public services such as libraries, parks, and community centres can significantly impact your living experience. Affordable areas may vary in the quality and availability of these services.

Where is the cheapest place to live in London?

London’s high living costs shouldn’t rule out the possibility of finding affordable living spaces. Areas like Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, and Sutton lead the charge in offering the most wallet-friendly housing options in the city, showcasing that affordability doesn’t have to mean compromise. With regeneration efforts in boroughs like Croydon and Lewisham, new opportunities for cost-effective living are constantly emerging. 

Finding an affordable place in London lies in weighing your needs against what each borough offers, from commute times and community amenities to the overall quality of life. London's landscape of affordability is ever-changing, inviting those seeking a home to keep an open mind and stay informed about the market.

Consider your priorities, do your research, and take advantage of the support schemes available to make your dream of living in London a reality. Whether you're drawn to the quiet suburbs or the bustling regeneration areas, your ideal London home awaits.

Are you thinking of moving to one of the cheapest places to live on our list? Which area are you considering? Let us know in the comments