Central London vs Greater London: Where is Best to Invest?


With the attraction of moving and settling in London at an all-time high, the investment opportunities in the capital’s property market could provide substantial financial gain. Anyone who has lived in London will have firsthand experience of how competitive and costly the capital’s property market can be. With previously a large number of people struggling to buy in London, the 2019 market could provide some promising news.

Has Brexit affected London property investment?

If you are looking to start investing or expand your property portfolio in the London property market, the uncertainty Brexit has caused in 2019 could mean this is your time to get a foot on the metaphorical property ladder. Sellers are struggling and harnessing the expertise of cash house buyers to enable them to move on with property journeys, whereas residential buyers are simply unsure of the perfect time to commit. With the general buying and selling public confused about how to handle the market currently, it could signal an opportunity for investors to add to their portfolios.

With an average decrease of between 2-3% in January of this year across the city, median house prices have taken a fall with a greater impact in certain boroughs than others. In the 12 months between January 2018 and January 2019, the borough of Westminster experienced the biggest fall, with an average drop of 14.03%, from £1.1 million to £959,466 with Camden close behind with an average decrease of 8.25%

While London’s property market has hit a slump in the past year, with average house prices falling in comparison to the rest of the UK. The city remains the most expensive place to buy a property, with an average value of £463,000. This figure is £145,000 more expensive than the South East of England, and £240,000 more expensive than the North East of England.

Generally, it is important for people to remember that average house prices within London have observed a continuous rise across the city, and those who invested in property years ago are now witnessing the potential for a healthy profit, both in buy-to-sell and in buy-to-rent markets. While this small downturn in prices this year may not be the best news for people looking to sell, it provides an open door for those thinking about investing.

The most expensive areas to live in London

Sold.co.uk recently revealed their map of London house prices, creating an interactive property search tool using the underground tube lines. Their extensive research into London tube station property prices between 2016 and 2019 has revealed some expected, intriguing and surprising data.

Below are the capital’s top three most expensive tube lines to live on:

Data and graphics provided by Sold.co.uk.

Some London tube lines run through more retail, business and tourist hubs than others. What the most expensive tube lines all share in common is they have an abundance of underground stations in fare zones one and two, which are notoriously expensive. The Circle Line’s most expensive location to live is Westbourne Park, with the average property price a whopping £2,051,638. Not to be outdone, if you want to secure a home around High Street Kensington on the District Line you will require an average sum of £3,014,658.

Have property prices increased in London?

Although house prices have increased across the whole city since 2016, certain areas have seen a greater increase than others. With this in mind, future investors should take note of where the greatest increases are occurring in line with the current house prices. While it is tricky to fully predict where the greatest increases are going to occur, if recent trends are taken into mind, it can be inferred that wherever your investment is, you will see an increase in the value of the property. To gain the most out of future investment, any investor will need to fully weigh up the advantages and external factors that can have a massive impact on any investment. For example:

  • Interest rates
  • Wages and therefore rents
  • Inflation rates

Over the past three years, all London Underground tube lines have seen an increase in property prices. In just a period of three years, the average property price on Piccadilly Line has shot up by £35,798. Similarly, the District Line has witnessed a £38,232 increase. Both the Victoria and Jubilee Lines have seen property prices rocket by £50,179 and £56,922 respectively. However, it is the Central Line which takes the crown for the highest increase in property prices between 2016 and 2019, standing at £85,160.

Data and graphics provided by Sold.co.uk.

An interesting trend that Elliot Castle (CEO of Sold.co.uk) observed is the “relatively affordable prices of houses around certain 1 and 2 stations, such as Vauxhall and Borough, whilst some which are much further out (…) is on the higher end of the price range”. With a growing attraction of outer London boroughs between zones 4 to 8, such as Barking, Newham and Hillingdon all experiencing house prices increased in the past 12 months

With the increase in prices and future returns of properties in outer zones of the London Underground, it has broken the myth to some extent of the further away from Central London the cheaper it gets. Which raises an interesting question for the first-time investor or those looking to expand their portfolios: Central London or Greater London.

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