Zone two on a fast track to more affordable homes
Zone two is starting to spark interest as buyers realise the potential for growth, but which Zone 2 underground stations will give you the best bang for your buck?
The central London residential market generates so much media coverage that it is sometimes easy to forget there is a market outside of Zone 1. This is partly because we all love reading about, and looking at lovely glossy pictures of, multi-million pound mansions in the golden postcodes. However, this does also mirror activity levels; the economic fundamentals and post financial crisis legacy has meant the residential market has performed much better in Inner than Outer London over the past few years.
But things are starting to change, and we are now seeing demand rippling out to Zone 2 and beyond. Prices are cheaper in Zone 2, but have been rising sharply of late. Take the southern boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth; house prices grew by around 20% last year. Newham in the east stands out as the top performing borough with increases of 23%, followed by Tower Hamlets at 17%. But despite these rises there are some areas significantly undervalued given the relative speed to get into central London.
The average price for a house in Zone 2 is around £723,000.
This is less than half of the Zone 1 average, which is just over £1.5m. Similarly, monthly rents for a two bed property average around £2,140 in Zone 2, while in Zone 1 it’s close to double at £3,630. And yet it only takes an average of 22 minutes to travel into Oxford Circus or Liverpool Street from Zone 2.
No surprise then that these outer areas are sparking so much interest – it is easy to get to work and the potential for growth is huge. But which of the areas near the 126 Zone 2 underground stations would give you best bang for your buck? We have provided an easy to use interactive map to help guide you through the myriad of choices. But to save you a bit of time here are our top picks:
East is best when it comes to value for money.
Although at £430,000 Bethnal Green doesn’t quite make the top twenty cheapest areas to live in Zone 2, its average house prices are still 40% below the Zone 2 average. More importantly perhaps, it is a clear winner in terms of travel time, with an average tube journey of just 8 minutes into work. As a result, Bethnal Green tops our list of the best ‘value to time’ ratio. A similar story can be told of neighbouring Whitechapel, Stepney Green, Mile End, Bow Road and Bromley-by-Bow; prices range from £325,000 to £440,000; 40% - 55% cheaper than Zone 2 as a whole. However, with journey times averaging around 10 – 15 minutes these areas appear significantly undervalued. To put this into context, journeys from Camden Town take a similar time of 12 minutes but houses are twice as expensive.
Other examples in east London include Shadwell, Limehouse and Westferry on the DLR where prices range between £493,000 and £550,000. With travel times of 13 to 17 minutes, this represents better value than for example Shepherd’s Bush which has a similar journey time, but prices far higher at £1.4 million.
Renting in these east London areas is also good value for money; for example, average monthly two bed rents in Bow (E3) come in at just £1,682 compared with the Zone 2 average of £2,144. This represents a discount of 22%.
Although east London is our top pick for value, there are still pockets in north London which appear relatively cheap given the great connection to central London; these include Holloway Road, Caledonian Road and Finsbury Park where prices are between 20% and 25% lower than the Zone 2 average. In contrast, prices in Swiss Cottage with similar travel times are around double at £1.15 million.
In addition, South East London offers a selection of under-priced areas, one of which is Elephant & Castle. This area is well connected with the Bakerloo and Northern lines and the average journey takes just 11 minutes. In addition, its average price of £565,000 makes it 22% cheaper than the Zone 2 average. Prices at Bermondsey and Canada Water stations on the Jubilee Line are slightly lower than their SE1 neighbour, but journey times are still reasonable, averaging around 17 minutes. The rent for a two beds here is around £1,850, 14% less than average. Although New Cross is the cheapest area to live in Zone 2 with prices averaging under £320,000, this is offset by its 28 minute travel time.
Finally; the Northern line areas of Kennington, Oval, Stockwell and Clapham North stand out as relatively cheap areas considering the speedy 13 – 16 minute journey. Prices here range between £488,000 and £535,000 which is a 26% to 31% discount on the Zone 2 average. The Victoria line’s Brixton also falls within this price/time bracket. In contrast, on the opposite side of the Northern line at Finchley Road houses are about twice as expensive, highlighting the great potential for its southern counterparts.
Click here to view our interactive borough by borough tube map which looks at the following statistics for each tube station:
- Average house price
- Average rent
- House price rank
- Rent rank
- Time to Oxford Street station
- Time to Liverpool Street station
- Travel time rank
Top twenty areas by value and travel time in Zone 2
- Travel time (minutes) – 8
- House price - £430,133
- Travel time (minutes) – 13
- House price - £349,702
Bromley By Bow
- Travel time (minutes) – 14
- House price - £325,050
- Travel time (minutes) – 10.5
- House price - £440,039
- Travel time (minutes) – 15
- House price - £362,125
- Travel time (minutes) – 12.5
- House price - £493,066
Elephant & Castle
- Travel time (minutes) – 11
- House price - £564,612
- Travel time (minutes) – 19
- House price - £340,340
- Travel time (minutes) – 13.25
- House price - £500,285
- Travel time (minutes) – 15.5
- House price - £430,532
- Travel time (minutes) – 13.75
- House price - £488,059
- Travel time (minutes) – 20.25
- House price - £363,986
- Travel time (minutes) – 23
- House price - £335,363
- Travel time (minutes) – 15.75
- House price - £507,611
- Travel time (minutes) – 14.75
- House price - £542,353
- Travel time (minutes) – 25
- House price - £324,789
- Travel time (minutes) – 22.5
- House price - £364,373
- Travel time (minutes) – 14.25
- House price - £577,588
- Travel time (minutes) – 15.75
- House price - £535,182
- Travel time (minutes) – 21.25
- House price - £404,535
Top 20 affordable areas in Zone 2
Below a list of top 20 affordable areas in London and the average house prices in that area:
- New Cross - £316,877
- Langdon Park - £324,789
- Bromley By Bow - £325,050
- Deptford Bridge - £327,667
- Devons Road - £335,363
- Bow Church - £340,340
- New Cross Gate - £347,231
- Bow Road - £349,702
- Stepney Green - £362,125
- Poplar - £363,986
- Hackney Wick - £364,373
- North Acton - £366,909
- Queens road Peckham - £378,033
- Blackwall - £382,202
- All Saints - £382,828
- East India - £386,282
- Mudchute - £402,913
- North Greenwich - £404,535
- Heron Quays - £407,452
- Surrey Quays - £408,401