Why buy a house in North London

If you buy in the right area of North London, everything you need is on your doorstep; from trendy restaurants and independent shops to popular tourist attractions.

North London is typically more expensive than South London. You can find some of the capital’s most expensive properties in areas such as Highgate, Hampstead, and St John’s Wood.

North of the river is better connected than the South, with the extensive tube network making it quick and easy to get from A to B, or into Central London.

  1. The stunning open spaces such as Hampstead Heath

  2. The convenient transport links with direct trains to the north of England from Kings Cross or Euston

  3. The village-feel in areas such as Islington, Muswell Hill and Notting Hill

  4. The bustling creative, art, music and comedy scenes

  5. The buzzing markets and street-food options in places like Camden

  6. The historical attractions like Highgate Cemetery

  7. The family friendly hotspots like London Zoo and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour

  8. The new developments in Kings Cross

  9. The 'alternative' spots like Camden where you can go shopping for antiques or vintage fashion.

  10. The sporting events at places like Wembley or Emirates stadium

north london

North London Property

If you want a decent amount of space, you’ll need to be fairly affluent to live north of the river Thames. 

Those on a budget should look for properties in the outermost North London postcodes such as Enfield.

Most property sales in North London in 2020 involved flats which sold for an average of £587,848. Terraced properties sold for an average price of £918,307, while semi-detached properties typically fetched £982,272.¹

North London house prices

Property prices are going up in North London.

The average sold price in North London increased by 4.32% between June 2019 and 2020. In June 2019 the average North London property sold by Foxtons sold for £599,158. In June 2020 the figure stood at £625,045.²

Rightmove found that the most expensive area in North London last year was Islington. The average property price here was £851,792. The cheapest was Enfield, at an average of £525,790.

The average rental figure in North London is £555 a week, 0.2% below the London average of £556 a week.

The cost of living in North London

London is the most expensive place to live in the UK.

Living in London is more expensive than in cities in the Midlands or north of England. This is one of the reasons why many people who have rented in London end up buying properties elsewhere in the country. 

North London is generally more expensive than South London.

Here are some examples of what things cost in London³:  

  • a litre of whole fat milk – £0.95

  • dinner for two in a pub – £38

  • a cocktail in a bar – £12

  • men’s haircut – £20

  • cinema ticket – £13

Where to live in North London

Edmonton, Palmers Green, Southgate and Winchmore Hill have some of the lowest house prices in London. 

It takes more than half an hour on the train to travel from Enfield to Central London.

But although it’s a little further from the city centre, Enfield is close to some great green spaces.

For beautiful Georgian and Victorian homes, Islington is a great place to look.

It’s a popular spot for the affluent, the rich and the famous. Celebrities who live in Islington include actors Emma Watson, Keira Knightley, and singer Lily Allen. Boris Johnson used to live there too.  

Foodies can find Exmouth market here, where there’s no shortage of food options. And traditional pubs are found aplenty in this part of North London.

Hampstead Heath is a peaceful area most well known for the heath and its outdoor swimming spots – a ladies’ pond, a men’s pond, a mixed pond, and a 60m lido.

Wild swimmers can enjoy the ponds all year round, as well as the stunning city views from the top of the heath.

This part of London is highly sought after and comes at a steep price for people looking to buy there.

Camden is renowned for its iconic markets where you can find everything from food to fashion and antiques. 

Its eclectic music scene and nightlife make it a fun place to live for young professionals looking for entertainment. 

The Regents Canal passes through the area, and you can live alongside, or on the water here. This is a great place for a stroll and an easy way to walk into other areas also along the canal.

If you’ve got cash to spend, Notting Hill in North West London is packed with high-end restaurants and luxury boutiques. 

It’s home to Portobello Road Market, and plays host to various festivals throughout the year, including Notting Hill Carnival.

North London boroughs include Barnet, Camden, Hackney, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, and Westminster.

It’s worth noting that some areas, like Camden and Hackney, overlap into either East, West or Central London.

If you want to be near the centre of London, you should look at inner North London boroughs. These will generally be travel zones 1 and 2. They are:

  • Camden

  • Hackney

  • Islington

For more open space, you should look at outer North London boroughs. These will normally be in travel zones 3, 4, 5 and 6 and include:

  • Barnet

  • Enfield

  • Haringey

Unlike the outer boroughs of South London, many of these are served by the London Underground. 

First time buyers in North London

The average price paid by first-time buyers in London in 2020 was £489,098, according to Halifax.⁴

Tottenham in the London borough of Haringey is the cheapest place to buy in North London. Tottenham (N17) has an average property price of £302,025.⁵

Other postcodes with cheaper properties include:

  • Lower Edmonton (N9) – £324,420

  • Upper Edmonton (N18) – £325,352

  • Palmers Green (N13) – £493,295

Buy to lets in North London

North London has a large community of people renting, which means plenty of opportunities for buy to let landlords.

The large population of young professionals who need easy access to the City and West End means there’s high demand for rented accommodation north of the Thames. 

London renters pay more for their accommodation than anywhere else in the country.

You’ll need to make sure you have the right kind of mortgage if you decide to rent your property out. Find out more in our buy to let and landlord guide.

New builds in North London

A new build home will usually cost more than an older property. 

In fact, North London dominates the list of the top 10 most expensive places to buy a new build property in the UK. 

Also on the list were Westminster (£1,006,564), Camden (£820,735), Islington (£636,980), and Hackney (£635,482).

Looking at pictures

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¹ Rightmove - House Prices in North London

² Foxtons - North London Property Market Trends - Sold Prices and House Price Trends

³ Expatistan - Cost of Living in London. Updated Prices Jun 2021.

⁴ Lloyds - Soaring house prices failed to deter first-time buyers in 2020

⁵ Ellis & Co - London property prices by postcode – and the deposit you’ll need