New-look 2016 Monopoly board for London's first-time buyers:Barking and Bexley replace Old Kent Road and Whitechapel as the capital's cheapest property hotspots

The east London boroughs of Barking and Bexley have replaced Old Kent Road and Whitechapel as the cheapest spaces on a Monopoly board updated to reflect today's house prices.

The 2016 board, created by Barratt London, features the 22 cheapest boroughs in the capital for first-time buyers.

The most affordable spot, traditionally occupied by Old Kent Road, is now home to Barking and Dagenham, the only borough where house prices still average below £300,000.

Stretching across travel zones 4 and 5, the borough is home to east London’s largest single regeneration project, Barking Riverside, a 15-year project that is delivering 10,800 new homes to house 29,000 people on a former power station site on a two-kilometre stretch of the Thames south of the town centre. 

Residents of the borough recently awarded the area 7.45/10, in a recent life satisfaction survey by the Office Of National Statistics. 

Bexley, also in zone 5, occupies the other brown space on the board, replacing Whitechapel. Here, house prices average almost £351,000, making it the next most affordable borough in the capital. Part of the Southeastern train network, commutes to central London take 35 minutes, and it is one of the areas rising fastest in terms of demand in the zone.

Monopoly was originally created as a game to demonstrate the disadvantages of living in an economy controlled by the few, in a society which rewards wealth creation.

Few will have more experience of this than first-time buyers struggling to get onto the property ladder - with stagnant wages and rising rents making saving for deposits increasingly difficult amid fast-rising house prices.

In fact, Old Kent Road in Southwark, once the cheapest space on the board, would now occupy one of the most expensive spaces, sitting in the highly coveted green cluster originally held by Regent Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street, and a borough where house prices average just under £631,000. 

Just east of the city, in Tower Hamlets, average house prices are above £600,000, which means Whitechapel would now be a yellow space where the likes of Leicester Square once sat.

Sitting at the top end of London's cheapest boroughs, both Old Kent Road and Whitechapel are now largely out of reach for buyers earning an average annual salary of £27,351.

These buyers would probably have more luck looking in the new "blue" boroughs - Havering and Newham in east London, and Croydon in south London, where average house prices range from £393,000 to £430,000, although one-bedroom flats can be found from £150,000.


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