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Borough by borough 2016: Bexley
As one of the most affordable places to live in London, Bexley is an attractive option for first time buyers. This suburban gem has a lot to offer those who enjoy having one foot in the city and another in the countryside.
Bexley stands out as one of the most affordable places to live in London. With the average rent for a two bedroom flat at £919pcm, by far the cheapest borough. Its rental market is currently the joint smallest in London, with just 11% of residents currently renting from private landlords. Conversely, 73% of Bexley’s population own their home – the second highest share of owner occupation in London. The average house price of £281,341 is the second lowest in London, making the area particularly attractive for first time buyers. Despite experiencing modest growth over the last decade, prices have picked up 16% in the last year.
Situated in outer south east London, and bordered by the River Thames, Bexley has a truly suburban character. Located just outside the metropolitan area, Bexley provides its residents an escape from the city, with the outdoors right on their doorstep. The borough is home to over 100 parks and open spaces, ranging from small gardens to larger woodlands, including the popular Danson Park with its boating lake and flower gardens. Other perks of Bexley include its low crime rate. The council’s four grammar schools also attract many parents to the area.
The northern parts of Bexley, specifically around the Thames bank, is an area designated as a national priority for urban regeneration as part of the Thames Gateway project (aimed to relieve the huge demand for housing in the south-east region). There are currently four large schemes undergoing construction in this area, with a mix of private and affordable housing - 1,309 residential units in total. With values averaging around £250 per sq. ft., new builds in the area are affordable, and in huge demand – Bexley has amongst the highest new build take up rates in London, ranked joint second with 82% of new homes sold off-plan.
Commuters in Bexley are well connected with direct rail links to London Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross. However, Bexley is set to benefit enormously with the new Cross-rail link from Abbey Wood, located right on the border of Bexley and Greenwich, making the borough an ever more attractive option for those working in central London. We estimate that the impact of Cross-rail will add 1.7% per annum (on top of underlying capital growth) to house prices in the area.