Why buy a house in South London

South London is one of the cheapest parts of the capital to buy a home. You can get more for your money in the south than in the north, such as extra bedrooms and a garden. 

South East London tends to be better value than South West London.

South London’s relative affordability attracts a buzzing crowd of young professionals. There’s more room in which to bring up a family, but there’s also plenty to do for singletons and the child-free.

  1. The museums such as the National Maritime Museum, Horniman Museum and Imperial War Museum

  2. The quick transport links to the City and East London due to extension of the London Overground

  3. It's culturally diverse population

  4. The parks and green spaces such as Crystal Palace, Greenwich, and Tooting Bec

  5. A village-feel in areas such as Dulwich and Blackheath

  6. The direct trains to the coast from East Croydon or Bromley South

  7. Its bustling creative, art, music and comedy scenes

  8. Close proximity to the countryside in Kent and Surrey

  9. The many options for markets and street food\

  10. The more affordable areas like Bexley and Croydon

South London

South London property

Buying a home is the biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make, so it’s good to know what the housing market is like in the places you want to live.

According to Rightmove, most property sales in 2020 in South London involved flats that sold for an average of £450,174. 

Terraced properties sold for an average price of £645,480, while semi-detached properties fetched £651,929.¹

South London house prices

Property prices are going up in South London.

According to Foxtons, the average sold price in South London increased by 14.59% between June 2019 and June 2020²

In June 2019 the average South London property sold by Foxtons sold for £570,994. In June 2020 the figure stood at £654,289.

The average rental figure in South London stands at £439 a week, 20.2% below the London average of £551 a week.

The cost of living in South London

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

Living in London is more expensive than in cities in the 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.

Here are some examples of what things cost in London³:  

  • combo meal in a fast food restaurant – £6

  • cappuccino – £3.56

  • pint of beer in the pub – £5.72

  • gym membership per month – £52

  • cinema ticket – £13

Where to live in South London

Thamesmead, Plumstead, Woolwich and Abbey Wood have some of the lowest house prices in London. From these areas, it’s about a 25 minute train journey to Central London.

Clapham is one of London’s most vibrant areas for young professionals. 

There are a whole host of pubs, bars and restaurants to explore, plus the 200+ acre Clapham Common.

Clapham is well connected with Clapham North, Clapham Junction, and Clapham High Street stations.

Crystal Palace Park is home to the former site of the Crystal Palace which burnt to the ground in 1936. 

These days it’s home to life-size dinosaur sculptures surrounding a boating lake, a skate park, an abandoned Victorian subway, an athletics track and the National Sports Centre.

The ‘Crystal Palace triangle’ boasts an impressive assortment of pubs, coffee houses and independent shops.

Greenwich has plenty of green spaces and history, alongside a village vibe and the famous Cutty Sark.

Residents can enjoy riverside pubs, the O2 concert venue and Icon outlet shopping centre, and the famous Greenwich Market. It’s only a quick 8 minute commute to Canary Wharf.

Dulwich Village is an affluent spot, with independent Dulwich College just up the road. 

If you’ve got cash to spend, there are plenty of enormous Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian family homes with spacious gardens.

Nearby, Peckham Rye is cheaper and has become a bohemian hotspot with trendy haunts such as Frank’s Café and the Peckamplex Cinema.

Where to live in South London

South London consists of 12 boroughs.

Inner London

  1. Greenwich

  2. Lambeth

  3. Lewisham

  4. Southwark 

  5. Wandsworth

Outer London

  1. Bexley 

  2. Bromley 

  3. Croydon 

  4. Kingston 

  5. Merton

  6. Richmond

  7. Sutton 

In general, outer London boroughs are the cheapest in which to buy property. These boroughs are furthest from the centre of London.

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

There tend to be more flats in inner London boroughs.

If you want more open space, you should look at outer South London boroughs. These will normally be in travel zones 3, 4, 5 and 6. 

There tends to be more houses in outer London boroughs.

Rightmove found the priciest area within South London was Lambeth (with an average price of £704,059) and the cheapest was Croydon (£450,499).

First time buyers in South London

The average price paid by first time buyers in London in 2020 was £489,098.⁴

According to estate agents Ellis & Co⁵, Thamesmead in the London borough of Bexley is the cheapest place to buy in South London. The average house price there is £275,194.

Other postcodes with cheaper property include:

  • South Norwood (SE25) – £348,701

  • Plumstead and Woolwich (SE18) – £351,089

  • Abbey Wood (SE2) – £330,345

Buy to lets in South London

South London has plenty of opportunities for people wanting to buy a home to rent out to tenants.

The large population of young professionals in the capital means there’s a lot of demand for rented accommodation. London renters pay more for their accommodation than anywhere else in the country.

You will 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 South London

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

The South London borough of Merton is one of the most expensive places in the country to buy a new build, with an average price of £629,850.⁶

Looking at pictures

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¹ House Prices in South London

² South London Property Market Trends - Sold Prices and House Price Trends

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

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

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

⁶ How do the prices of new build properties compare to existing properties? | Compare My Move