For London workers, it can be an unsettling dilemma whether to spend more on a house near the office or upsize further out but spend more time and money on tubes.
House prices differ considerably, even between adjacent tube stations. The average house price in Knightsbridge will set you back around £1.6m but hop on the tube for ten minutes to West Kensington, and the average slips to a more attainable £533,000.
The average price for a home in London has reached record heights of £514,000, so what does this get you in each of London’s zones?
The average house price in Zone 1 is inevitably higher than the other zones. This said, there are 3-bed flats and maisonettes available from £450,000. They tend to have small kitchens, but tube stations are a short walk. You could catch a view of the London Eye or the Shard from your window.
On the boundary of Zone 1 and 2, is one of London’s most sought-after locations, Notting Hill. Properties among its famous gardens have attracted a high level of interest after the first lockdown. There are currently 91 studios and flats on Zoopla under £500,000 in the area.
South Kensington is a popular choice for renters and buyers alike. Flats tend to have modern fittings, natural light and are in close range of bars and restaurants. But, they are much smaller than other parts of London for the price.
The biggest cost gap between zones is between Zones 1 and 2. The average house price in Hammersmith is around £1m but moving one tube stop to Goldhawk Road can get you a spacious two-bedroom property for around £500,000.
If a location in Zone 2 appeals the most, Mile End properties average at around £359,595. Due to a variety of Victorian terraces, there is choice for every young professional. Greenwich and Kilburn’s one- and two-bedroom period conversion flats are popular with first-time buyers.
Step into the close by area of Stratford in E15 and there are roads of three-bedroom houses selling for between £450,000 and £550,000. East Acton and Bethnal Green also sit in Zone 2 and have homes available for a similar price.
Similarly, priced areas include West Kensington, Finsbury Park and Maida Vale. Canary Wharf is a thriving business location, and the average property price is £503,174.
When you get to Zone 3, prices average at around £500,000, so it could be where to look for more choice. With an average travel time of half an hour into Central London, and new town centre and green space developments, Zone 3 is a promising spot.
The cheapest places are around Beckton Park, Hainault, and West Ham. Two-bedroom flats in Richmond start at £400,000, with three-bedroom flats from £525,000.
It costs around a fifth less to buy a home in Zone 4 than in Zone 3. Northwick Park, home to the University of Westminster, and Preston Road are both Zone 4 locations where you could buy a property for under £400,000.
If you’re a David Beckham fan, you could live where he grew up in Leytonstone, with an easy commute to the city via the Central Line. £500,000 could buy a two- or three- bed house or flat.
Zone 4’s Wembley Park also boasts a comparatively affordable price range, averaging at £455,230. Barking is attracting first-time buyers from East London in need of a quick commute to the City by train to Fenchurch Street station.
The most affordable travel zone is Zone 5. You could live in Eastcote for £269,639; the cheapest location on the Metropolitan Line. Zone 5 includes areas such as Hounslow, Harrow, Chingford, and Stanmore. Stanmore is known for good schools, so is worth a look for young families.
It only takes 25 minutes on the train to London Waterloo from Twickenham, home to England Rugby. For £500,000 you can buy a three-bedroom house, or up to three bedroom flats.
Despite a longer commute into Central London, Zone 6 is more expensive to buy than Zone 5. This said, houses for sale cluster around locations like Orpington, where £500,00 can buy a 3-bedroom terrace with your own garden.
Coulsdon offers three-, four- or five-bedroom houses in suburban areas from £500,000. For an easy commute, somewhere like Hillingdon offers houses with spare bedrooms.
The stamp duty break ends on the 31st March, but it is possible that this will be extended given the unpredictability of the national lockdown.
Therefore, it might be as good a time as ever to move to London. You could save a whopping £15,000 on a £500,000 purchase, giving buyers another incentive, especially in more central zones.