News | Hot 100 2019 - London's best-performing boroughs, ranked

The annual Hot 100 report by CBRE reveals the winners in the London housing market in 2019.

By identifying the Top 10 boroughs in 10 categories, CBRE’s Hot 100 provides a snapshot of the biggest London housing market trends. This year, new categories include rankings for London’s greenest boroughs, alongside traditional property market data. To find out more, please see the report, and find commentary on the most popular categories below.

Best-performing boroughs
Rank Borough
1. Westminster
2. City of London
3. Islington
4.  Kensington and Chelsea
5.  Hammersmith and Fulham
6. Camden
7. Wandsworth 
8. Southwark
9. Lambeth
10. Hackney
Source: CBRE Hot 100 2019


To create a ranking of the Top 10 best-performing boroughs, CBRE analysed data on average house prices and house price forecasts, along with the average monthly rent and rental growth.

The City of Westminster is the best performing borough in 2019. With an average house price of £971,552, and average monthly rent of £3,325, Westminster appears in the top three for both sets of data, combined with strong rental value growth of 24% over the last five years.

Jennet Siebrits, UK Head of Residential Research, CBRE, said, “London attracts thousands of avid shoppers and tourists each day, and many head straight for Westminster which has the highest number of retail stores of any London borough, at 1,845. This includes globally recognised retail landmarks like Regent Street, Oxford Street and Carnaby Street.

“Best known as the centre of UK politics, Westminster has a diverse built environment, with historic buildings dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth century alongside contemporary architecture.

“Westminster also leads the Hot 100 ranking of the top boroughs for economic performance. It was the borough with the highest gross domestic product in 2019 (c£68bn), and it is set to maintain its central economic role, with GDP forecast to grow to £76bn by 2024.”

Westminster is followed in the overall ranking of the best performing boroughs by the City of London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham. All are central boroughs with comparably high average house prices and rents, and double-digit rental growth over the last five years.

For future house price growth, London’s outer boroughs are the top picks, with Redbridge topping the house price growth forecasts over the next five years (17%), followed by Bexley (14%), Barking and Dagenham (14%), Lewisham (13%), and Barnet (12%).


Boroughs for first time buyers
Rank Borough
1.  Croydon
2. Tower Hamlets
3. Barnet
4. Greenwich
5. Harrow
6. Newham
7. Ealing
8. Hillingdon
9. Hounslow
10. Southwark
Source: CBRE Hot 100 2019


First time buyers are active in the London market. While the average house price in London is around £457,000, there are big price differences between the boroughs. CBRE has identified the boroughs with the lowest average prices, and those where there is good take up of Help to Buy, the government incentive that offers buyers an equity loan towards the purchase of a new build home.

Croydon leads the ranking of the top boroughs for first time buyers this year. Located in the south east of London, stretching across Zones 3 to 5, almost 15 per cent of homes bought through the government’s Help to Buy scheme in Croydon.

Tower Hamlets, Barnet, Greenwich and Harrow round out the top 5 boroughs in our first time buyer ranking.

Jennet Siebrits UK Head of Residential Research, CBRE, said, “First time buyers make up 60% of all mortgages in London. Outer London boroughs with lower house prices are particularly attractive for those looking to take their first step onto the housing ladder.

“In London, 95% of those using Help to Buy have been first time buyers. Since the scheme was introduced it has been most popular in Barnet.” 


Boroughs for renters
Rank Borough
1. Barking and Dagenham
2. Sutton
3. Waltham Forest
4.  Bexley
5.  Haringey
6. Kingston upon Thames
7. Hounslow
8. Hillingdon
9. Greenwich
10. Havering 
Source: CBRE Hot 100 2019


CBRE’s ranking of the top boroughs for renters reflects an overall calculation comprising boroughs with the lowest rents, those with the highest forecast increase in rental households, and boroughs with the highest numbers of build to rent completions and units under construction, indicating healthy levels of investment in delivering new homes to rent.

Jennet Siebrits, UK Head of Residential Research, CBRE, said, “Private renters now make up around 30% of all households, which equates to broadly 2.7m renters in London. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property in London has fallen by around 10% over the past year and is now £1,900. For the second year running Bexley and Havering have the lowest average monthly rents (£1,100pcm and £1,125pcm respectively).

“Over the next decade the number of renters is expected to increase by 122%, with the highest growth forecast in Tower Hamlets.”


Highest levels of development
Rank Borough
1. Tower Hamlets
2. Newham
3. Wandsworth
4. Ealing
5. Southwark
6. Brent
7.  Barnet
8. Greenwich
9. Hillingdon
10. Barking and Dagenham
Source: CBRE Hot 100 2019


Tower Hamlets had the highest number of homes currently under construction (3,359) and construction completions (2597) in 2019 and is number one in our overall Development Top 10. Tower Hamlets was closely followed in the number of completed new homes by Newham (2433) and Greenwich (2433).

Mark Collins, UK Residential Chairman at CBRE said: “London’s landscape is constantly evolving, with large regeneration projects transforming entire areas. Our Hot 100 shows that regeneration is an ongoing process, as the some of the boroughs which in 2019 have the highest levels of residential development are those which have benefitted from regeneration over the past 10 or even 20 years.

“As in previous years, boroughs in east London and the outer boroughs lead the development rankings. Tower Hamlets is our top borough for residential development in 2019, which includes the business district of Canary Wharf, which has been bolstered by the introduction of new housing and mixed-use buildings, while second in the ranking Newham has an extensive regeneration zone around Stratford. These areas benefit from not only new homes, but significant investment in infrastructure and placemaking.

“Levels of residential development are broadly similar to last year, but there is still strong demand for new homes across different tenures, including affordable housing, and private rentals.

“A significant proportion of new homes are being purpose built for the growing private rental market. Professionally managed multifamily properties, often referred to as build to rent in the UK, are changing the way people rent in London, offering more quality product and choice for tenants. There are a range of rental brands springing up across London, appealing to different budgets, ages, and lifestyle needs.” 


London's top 10 green boroughs
Rank Borough
1. Ealing
2. Bromley
3. Croydon
4. Richmond
5. Hillingdon
6. Barnet
7. Sutton
8. Bexley
9. Havering
10. Harrow
Source: CBRE Hot 100 2019


In a first for the Hot 100, CBRE identified London’s top 10 green boroughs, based on rates of household recycling and composting, expenditure on environmental initiatives, the uptake of electric cars, and the installation of renewable electricity installations, such as solar panels.

Ealing, which features in the top five for three of our sustainability sub-categories, is the greenest borough in the ranking in 2019. It is followed by Bromley and Croydon.

Westminster has the highest number of registered electric vehicles; it is within the congestion charging zone, and zero emissions cars are exempt.

Southwark is projected to have the highest expenditure on environmental initiatives, followed by Islington and Lewisham. Half of the top ten in this category are inner London boroughs.

Sustainability is becoming more of a priority for developers. Laura Puertollano Tracey, Senior Architect in CBRE’s Residential Development Consultancy, said: “It’s clear that sustainability has moved up the agenda. Growing public concern about the environment, and a move to more sustainable lifestyles are reflected in the new homes being built. For instance, we see charging points as standard in new developments, particularly in zones 3-4 and further out, where there is more car use. But in general, the number of parking spaces in developments has come down, as Londoners shift to using public transport or car sharing services. We see higher demand for secure bike storage too, and this is factored into building design. 

“For the private sale market, developers consider sustainability in the design of the buildings, and in the materials used to build. Developers are thinking about how to source energy in a carbon-efficient way, and whether they can create carbon neutral buildings. We’re used to seeing solar panels dotted around the rooftops, and soon more buildings could generate their own power, for instance, by using solar cell materials built into the glass of the windows.”


For more, please explore the Hot 100 here