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Affordable Renting

Affordable Living: Cheapest Areas to Live in London

October 2021

Are you looking for a new place to live but haven’t earned your millions to buy a house in London yet? Or maybe you want to save up on a house deposit or exotic travels by paying less rent? This article is perfect for you! With the housing market being at an all time high, both renters and home buyers are struggling, to say the least. 

If the prices of rentals in London don’t give you a heart attack then count yourself lucky! The Office for National Statistics reported that London had the highest median monthly rent at £1,425 which is nearly double the median monthly rent for England, currently at £755 — yikes! But with price come privileges of living in one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world. 

So, let’s have a look at the cheapest areas in London to help your bank account a little, all whilst still enjoying the many benefits of living in London. 

1. Barking and Dagenham — Our choice for experiencing regeneration

The East London borough is located 9 miles from the city centre and offers the cheapest rent in London. On average, rent in Barking and Dagenham is £1,200 a month — not bad compared to £2,171 in Kensington and Chelsea!

In terms of transport links, you can get to the centre of London in less than an hour from Barking station in Zone 4, which allows you to access the Hammersmith & City and District lines, as well as the Overground.

Let’s talk safety — the crime rate for Barking and Dagenham is 4/10 which makes it a medium crime level borough. 

Barking and Dagenham is also a low income area (hence the low prices of rent) but with a growing diverse population, with ethnicity rates increased by 42% as evidenced by the most recent census. 

2. Bexley — Our choice for cheap living

Located in the south east of London, Bexley offers an average rent price of £1,100 a month so if you’re on a budget and still wanting to be part of London’s vibrant life, Bexley is the place to be! 

Despite being located nearly 13 miles away from the centre of London, a regular Southeastern train line can take you to the City of London in just over 40 minutes, departing from Bexleyheath every 30 minutes. 

If the transport links haven’t convinced you, you’ll be pleased to know you can sleep safe at night in Bexley as the borough has one of the lowest crime rates in London!

And, as being the very ‘outer’ borough of London, in Bexley you are actually only 20 miles away from the seaside so on a good day (when there’s no traffic, let’s be realistic about the weather!), you can build sand castles on a beach within 40 minutes.

Photo by Jack Finnigan

3. Sutton — Our choice for sustainable living

We are now in South London, where you can expect an average rent price of £1,100 a month. 

Sutton’s history dates back over a thousand years (wow!) when it was first mentioned as having 30 houses and, wait for it, 2 churches. Nowadays, Sutton has grown slightly larger, but you can still enjoy the little town feel whilst walking the 6th most important retail area in London located on Sutton high street. Sounds like a mix of both worlds doesn’t it? 

Let’s add to the dream — Sutton railway station offers frequent trains to London as well as other destinations and Sutton can also be proud to be home to one of the highest performing education authorities in the country.

In terms of crime rates — together with Bexley, Sutton can be proud to say the crime rates are one of the lowest in the capital. 

Last but not least, Sutton authorities are very much in line with the times, and have declared a climate emergency and pledged carbon neutrality with the aim of becoming London’s most sustainable borough. Way to go Sutton! 

4. Havering — the London borough for nature and parks

Back in the north east of London, welcome to Havering, providing average monthly rent prices of £1,150. 

What’s so great about Havering is the sense of nature — with being the most eastern of the boroughs, it contains large natural areas - and you can even spot a deer in Bedfords Park! 

Havering’s transport links are good as well, with the District line running more less through the middle of the borough, together with the London, Tilbury and Southend line and the Great Eastern Main Line. Overground is also in operation in between Romford and Upminster and let’s not forget about the extensive network of buses available.  

The crime rate is low as well, with 75.61 per thousand population. 

5. Croydon — Our choice for community living

Croydon offers an average monthly rent of £1,129 - and the prices of a cheeky pint of beer on a Saturday afternoon are amongst the cheapest in London at (long pause for a dramatic effect) £1.99 on average! Yes, yes  — even in 2022! 

A bit of history — as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, at the time of the Norman conquest of England, Croydon had a church, a mill, and around 365 inhabitants. It later expanded in the Middle Ages as a market town, and is now one of the largest commercial districts in Greater London, with an extensive shopping district and night-time economy.

Croydon has invested nearly £3.5 billion into their regeneration scheme, which is set to provide new offices, shops, homes as well as facilities for young residents and disabled people. 

Croydon is well connected with the Southern and Thameslink lines as well as London Overground and the Tramlink. 

Being one of the largest boroughs, the average crime rate for Croydon is 4/10 but depending on a post code, it can go down to 1/10! 

6. Enfield - Our choice for raising a family

With slightly more expensive average monthly rent of £1,265, this northernmost borough of London compensates by great transport links and plenty of greenery around. 

Living in Zone 5 has plenty of benefits - with cheaper fares being one of them! Enfield also prides itself in vibrant Turkish and Green communities and you know what that means — plenty of authentic and independent restaurants! 

The crime rates are medium in Enfield, with the annual crime rate of 123 per thousand population. 

7. Hillingdon — Our choice for travelling

The home of the Heathrow Airport — perfect location for all of those with a travel bug, with an average monthly rent of £1,250. And you guessed correctly — the proximity to Heathrow means great transport links for the residents. 

A fun and/or historic fact (pick one) is that during the Battle of Britain (1940–41), Uxbridge in Hillingdon was the site of an underground control centre that directed British air defences.

The Grand Union Canal passes through the borough, which also contains 200 parks and green spaces for the grand total of 1,800 acres. 

The crime rate is also low as the annual rate is 92 per thousand population.

And if you don’t have the time to read the whole article, here’s a summary table that visualises the above descriptions.

Need more help?

The 7 cheapest (and some of the safest) London Boroughs are inviting new residents with their transport links, cheap pints and proximity to nature. There is no “one solution fits all'' approach when it comes to choosing a place to rent and live in London. But if you’re after cheap rent — hopefully the article was useful to you. 

If you are a bit lost with the rental process, need a helping hand or you just simply don’t have the time to sort the paperwork, try REPIT and we will sort the formalities for you, and using our magic powers, we will find you the best rental properties on the market.


Social Media Manager

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