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Cheap Places to Live in London

27 April 2015 Cat Byers Read time: 6 min
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Cat Byers

Don't let the tales of oligarchs and multi-million pound properties put you off - there's always a bargain to be had if you know where to look.

As one of the world's most expensive cities and the home of a crazy property bubble, the thought of trying to find cheap places to move in London can be a very daunting prospect.

The endless cycle of regeneration and gentrification in London means that after just a few years, previously affordable areas can often see a rapid rise in prices, such as Shoreditch, Dalston and Stoke Newington. Fortunately, as a city in a constant state of flux there's always another up-and-coming area full of low-cost houses and budget bargains. What's more, these cheap places to rent in London are often in the city's most vibrant and creative areas, as a diverse range of residents move in to make the most of everything on offer.

Cheap Places to Move in North London

Holloway (N7)


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If you're keen to live in Islington but can't quite afford Angel prices, take a look at Holloway. Not far from the shops and restaurants of Camden, Tufnell Park and Kentish Town, Holloway offers great value properties with lots of Victorian terraces and quick connections to central London via the Northern Line and Overground. It's also close to Arsenal for football fans!

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,600




Southgate (N14)


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Nestled to the right of Barnet, this leafy North London suburb is particularly popular as a cheap place to live with a family due to the good schools, pretty 1930s houses and easy commute to central London via the Piccadilly Line. There are a nice selection of cafes, delis and restaurants too, making it a great hidden gem to come home to after a long day at work.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,100




Looking for more ideas? Check out the ultimate guide to the best places to live in London as young professional


Tottenham (N15)


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Tottenham hasn't had the best reputation over the years, but as the result of a huge regeneration program to improve the area and add thousands of homes and jobs as well as a number of new schools, Tottenham's star is on the rise. There are still plenty of bargain properties to be found, and the Victoria Line and Piccadilly Line links make commuting across London a doddle.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,030




Wood Green (N22)


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With streets of sweet Victorian terraced housing, a large shopping centre, nice local pubs and the green expanse of Alexandra Park nearby, Wood Green is a great spot for families and young professionals looking for a cheap property in a North London postcode. The Piccadilly Line will get you to Piccadilly Circus in just 28 minutes too, so the bright lights of central London are never too far away.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,100




Hornsey (N8)


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South of Wood Green and also close to Alexandra Park, Hornsey is the go-to area if you want Crouch End but can't quite stretch your budget far enough. The bustling high street is full of shops, bars, restaurants and all the necessary amenities, while Turnpike Lane Underground serves the Piccadilly Line and Hornsey Station offers a direct train to Kings Cross in a speedy 24 minutes.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,250


Cheap Places to Move in East London

Enfield (EN1)


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Right on the outer edge of North London, Enfield enjoys country air from Middlesex as well as quick commutes into London. There's also plenty going on in EN1 and EN2 if you want to just stay put, with the canal and park for a weekend stroll, charming pubs for an evening pint and a good selection of shops for Saturday splurge.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £960



Stratford (E20)


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Every since the huge regeneration during the 2012 Olympics, Stratford has been one of the hottest spots in London for renters seeking a cool pad at bargain (for London!) prices. This bustling area has loads of new housing, an enormous shopping centre at Westfields Stratford, and both the Central Line and Overground to get you into the heart of the city in no time. Plus, you can even jump on the Eurostar at Stratford International for the odd chic weekend in Paris!

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,300




Leyton (E10)


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Not far from Stratford, Leyton also enjoyed a colourful makeover in 2012, and is full of pretty terraced properties to rent. There are a nice selection of local bars and restaurants, while the epic Westfield Shopping centre is nearby and the Central Line will take you directly to Bank in just 15 minutes.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,060



Walthamstow (E17)


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Once upon a time E17 was synonymous with the 90's boyband of the same name, but as they've faded into obscurity (sorry Brian Harvey), the profile of wonderful Walthamstow has risen as Londoners catch on to the creative and diverse community that thrives here. This affordable area has good schools, cool cafes and lots of friendly pubs, and being the last stop on the Victoria line means you can be in Oxford Street in just over 30 minutes.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,100




Forest Gate (E7)


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To the East of Stratford lies Forest Gate (not to be confused with South East London's Forest Hill), which we reckon is one of the best-kept secrets in this corner of the capital. As well as lots of lovely period houses and good transport connections, Forest Gate also has a unique musical heritage as the former home of contemporary musicians Plan B and Kano, while the Upper Cut Club has hosted everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Stevie Wonder.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £960



Cheap Places to Move in South West London

Streatham (SW16)


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Super Streatham in South-West London will offer you a lot more for your money than neighbours Clapham, Balham or Wandsworth, but without denying you great amenities, nice properties and the lovely green spaces of Streatham Common and Tooting Bec (which also has a great lido for the summer months). Plus, brilliant transport connections mean that London Bridge is only 20 minutes away.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,200



Cheap Places to Move in South East London

South Norwood (SE25)


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Located in the Borough of Croydon, not far from Birbeck University, South Norwood is a great spot to find a cheap place to rent in London for students, although it's becoming increasingly popular with families and young professionals too. With a busy high street full of shops and cafes, plenty of terraced housing, a large leisure centre and good connections to central London, there's something for everyone in South Norwood.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £900


Anerley (SE20)


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This cosy suburb has largely remained under the radar, but since the arrival of the Overground in 2010, savvy Londoners are slowly starting to descend on this cheerful area for cheap rental prices, the nearby amenities of Crystal Palace, and the easy 21 minute commute to London Bridge. It won't remain secret for long though, so get yourself to SE20 as soon as possible!

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £960


Catford (SE6)


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Cool Catford in South East London is famous for the Catford cat sculpture which looms over the high street. There's a lot more to this area than just a massive moggy though - Catford has a real community spirit with a resident-run orchard, selection of good local schools, some historically significant Brutalist buildings for architecture buffs, and speedy trains for London Bridge and Waterloo for commuters.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £930



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Charlton (SE7)


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Love Greenwich but can't quite afford the rising property prices? Give Charlton a try instead. Located between Greenwich and Woolwich, this area has a calm village ambience with historic houses, open green spaces, and an outdoor lido, but benefits from a rapid 12-minute train to London Bridge and fast routes to Canary Wharf too.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,100



Forest Hill (SE23)


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Nestled next to East Dulwich, family-friendly Forest Hill benefits from the amenities of this affluent pocket of South-East London, but so far has managed to avoid the prices. Popular with families and young professionals, Forest Hill offers a selection of respected schools, a thriving arts scene (including the nearby Horniman museum), as well as a 14-minute commute to London Bridge.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,100



Deptford (SE8)


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Touted by many as ‘the new Dalston’, Deptford is set to be the next cheap place to rent in London for cool young creatives and students. Recently priced out of Peckham, these arty types are heading here for the independent bars, thriving market, and vibrant high street. It's also got a lot of historical significance - famous playwright and contemporary of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe was mysteriously murdered in Deptford in the 1500s. Spooky!

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,300


Sydenham (SE26)


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Once popular with the upper classes who came for the restorative spa waters during the Regency and Victorian periods, Sydenham now has a great mix of Victorian terraces, flats in large Georgian conversions, and modern flats built in the 1960s. There's a good high street and plenty of parks nearby, and despite the SE26 postcode commuters can get to both Victoria and London Bridge in less than 20-minutes.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £1,060


Penge (SE20)


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Not far from Sydenham and Crystal Palace, pretty Penge offers some of the best budget properties within easy commuting distance of London. There are lots of Victorian terraces and historic almshouses, as well as more modern properties popular with first-time buyers and young professionals. Add in a sweet town square, independent restaurants, Crystal Palace Park nearby and a 20 minute train to Victoria, and Penge starts to look pretty perfect indeed.

Average rent for a 1 bed flat: £960



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