Last week the latest data from the ONS highlighted a house price per square metre deficit of over £18,000 between the most expensive in England and Wales (Kensington and Chelsea) and the most affordable (Blaenau Gwent).
With many homeowners opting not to stray far when moving, our latest research has looked at where homeowners can save with some of the biggest drops in house price value just by moving to a neighbouring area that borders their current location.
With the diversity of the London market and the high price of property, it’s no wonder some of the largest drops in England and Wales are found across neighbouring boroughs.
Moving from the City of London to Tower Hamlets will save you £8,826 per square metre. Kensington and Chelsea might be over £18,000 more than Blaenau Gwent, but even a short move to Hammersmith and Fulham will save you £8,721. Moving from Westminster to Camden will save you £3,575, but a further step from Camden to Barnet would save you over £6,000.
Wandsworth to Merton makes a difference of £2,856 per square metre, Hackney to Waltham Forest is a difference of £2,550 and Southwark to Lewisham sees the cost per square metre drop by £2,486.
Brent to Harrow (£1,325), Greenwich to Bexley (£1,211) and Waltham Forest to Redbridge (£1,057) would also save you over £1,000 a square metre.
Of course, as many homeowners have, a jump outside of the London boundary to the surrounding areas will also result in a big saving. Swapping Epping Forest for Harlow will save you £1,672 and moving from Bromley to Dartford will see the price per square metre drop £1,377.
Outside of London
Outside of London, the drop-in property price between next-door neighbours is smaller, but there are still a number of areas where the jump can save you between £500 and £2,000 a square metre.
One of the largest drops is from Cambridge to surrounding South Cambridgeshire with a difference of £2,138 per square metre. Moving from South Hams to Plymouth would bring a saving of £1,789. Mole Valley to Crawley (£1,539) and Winchester to Portsmouth (£1,510) would both save you over £1,500, while a hop across the water from Christchurch to the Isle of Wight would save you £1,400 per square metre.
In a market as vast and varied as the UK, there’s always going to be a huge gulf in values between the most and least affordable areas however, it’s interesting to see that just by moving to a neighbouring area you could stand to save a substantial amount when getting on the ladder.
Of course, many might not want to make the move out of their existing area because the more affordable location may be less desirable, too far from their work or family and so on. Unfortunately, the harsh reality for many, first-time buyer in particular, is that they have no choice to make the move other than remaining in the rental sector.
The one benefit of this spill over effect is that the less desirable area benefits from the influx of buyer demand and helps stimulate property prices and in turn benefits the local economy. We’ve seen it with the likes of Hackney now becoming very trendy and sought after, due to buyers who opted for ‘the next best’ option because neighbouring Islington was too expensive to get on the ladder.
So not only do these areas offer an alternative without moving miles away from home, but they also offer a real opportunity for a return on your property investment over time.Russell Quirk