Where to buy a London home in 2017:from Peckham to Hither Green, four areas with new-build starter homes priced below £400k

The cost of buying an average starter home in the capital has now reached £405,000. But there are still new-build flats being offered at the average price - or less. Here's where to start your search...

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You can’t blame first-time buyers for being troubled. Desperate to own a home, they’re also terrified of taking such a big step and of borrowing so much money.

Which is why so many buy a new home rather than an older place that needs doing up and could saddle them with vast unforeseen expense.

Latest research from Lloyds Bank shows the average London first-time buyer now spends £405,000 getting on to the property ladder.

That sum won’t go far when you want a new build. But by choosing carefully it is possible to buy a one- or even two-bedroom modern flat at the average price, or even less.

 

ZONE 2: PECKHAM RYE

Flats at The Catcher Building, Peckham Rye, go on sale this month, priced from £310,750 for a one-bedroom home. This boutique, low-rise development of just 31 flats is set around a private courtyard garden.

The pay-off for life on a main road is convenience. Peckham Rye station, in Zone 2, is a five-minute walk away, while Peckham Rye Park is a 15-minute stroll, and between them sits Peckham’s increasingly impressive range of bars, restaurants and cafés.

The Catcher Building will be completed by the end of this year.From 340sq ft, the one-bedroom flats  are small — the bedroom will fit a double bed and not much else. But the industrial-style interiors, with big Crittall-style windows, monochrome bathrooms and wood floors, are well thought-out and fresh.

The flats are being sold with a 999-year lease, and the service charge will be a reasonable £78 a month or so.

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From £310,750: 31 apartments set around a courtyard garden at The Catcher Building, Peckham Rye SE15

ZONE 3: HITHER GREEN

For more space for your cash you are going to need to compromise on location, and Hither Green in Zone 3 is a good a place to start, with its super-fast trains that take just 15 minutes to London Bridge and 20 minutes to Charing Cross.

Hither Green is a more laid-back option than Peckham — more farmers’ market than pop-up vodka bar, and there’s not much nightlife. But it is a lovely, leafy neighbourhood and it’s becoming increasingly popular with priced-out young professionals.

Foxtons is selling six flats in a newly converted pub in Campshill Road, which is pretty much equidistant between Hither Green and its brasher neighbour Lewisham, and a 15-minute walk from either station. In this development’s favour is its fresh, modern makeover within a period-style building with airy, high ceilings. It is not as stylish as it might be but it is a perfectly acceptable blank canvas. Buyers of such renovation properties should know that they don’t come with the same 10-year warranties as new builds.

Two-bedroom flats, priced from £350,000, measure from 529sq ft and some have private patio gardens. Service charges are from £62.50 per month, and leases are 125 years.

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From £350,000: six two-bedroom flats in a newly converted pub in Campshill Road, Hither Green SE13

ZONE 3: ROYAL DOCKS

This new district is the start of a huge £3.5 billion regeneration. One of its largest developments is Royal Wharf, by developers Oxley and Ballymore, overlooking the Thames.

The first home buyers will start moving in this year, and can look forward to the use of communal facilities, including a swish leisure centre which opens in 2019. 

The developer is also planning what it calls a “Marylebone-style high street and traditional market square” with shops and restaurants. Transport links are already good. By West Silvertown DLR the hop to Canary Wharf takes 10 minutes. Royal Wharf is also a 10-minute walk away from Custom House where, from next year, Crossrail services will go direct to the City and West End.  

Prices for one-bedroom flats start at £395,000, which gets you a 540sq ft home, with service charge of just over £166 a month. The flats are all being sold with 999-year leases, through Knight Frank. For now, there is little in the way of nightlife or good shops but both are on their way.

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Zone 5: “Micro apartments" at Sutton Court in Surrey cost from £269,950

ZONE 5: SUTTON, SURREY

First-time buyers with really tiny budgets would do well to think small and look on the fringes of London. In Sutton, “micro flats” are available at Sutton Court, by Inspired Homes. This developer specialises in selling small flats at small prices. One-bedroom homes of 334sq ft go on sale this month and will be completed later this year, priced from £269,950.

Help to Buy London is available at Sutton Court, which means buyers only need raise a five per cent deposit of just under £13,500. Two-bedroom flats of 570sq ft start at £389,950. The flats are being sold with 999-year leases. Service charge is £130 a month.

Sutton Court is five minutes’ walk from the town centre, which has a full complement of chain stores, bars and restaurants, although it is not bursting with character. Train links to London are excellent, though. You can be at Victoria, London Bridge or Blackfriars in just over half an hour. Since Sutton is in Zone 5, an annual season ticket costs £2,248.


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