London's Zone 1-3 property hotspots:new report reveals cheapest postcodes to buy one-bedroom flats

From New Cross to Aldgate and Paddington to Plaistow, new figures highlight the most affordable first-time buyer districts in prime travel Zones.

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New research from property experts JLL shows it’s possible — just — to buy in Zone 1 for less than £600,000, and in swathes of Zone 3 for under £215,000.

“London’s affordability problems are well documented,” says Nick Whitten, residential research associate director at JLL and author of today’s report. “However, the good news is that there are still relatively affordable one-bedroom flats on the market.”

Here’s where to start your search…

While Aldgate is attracting high-end developers building for deep pockets, neighbouring Whitechapel remains the most affordable area in central London.

Some people are quick to dismiss this cosmopolitan area as too gritty, yet others love it for being “real”. However, no one can argue that its location isn’t good — slap-bang on the City fringe, and with Spitalfields and Brick Lane on the doorstep. Next year it will join the Elizabeth line — formerly Crossrail — with speedy train links to the City and West End.

£697,491: average price of a one-bedroom flat in Paddington (above) and Bayswater (Daniel Lynch)

Rory Willmott of estate agent Winkworth believes in the area. “I suspect in the next five to 10 years you will see a dramatic change in Whitechapel with little coffee shops popping up and new homes built. It will never be the next Shoreditch, but it is going to look a lot better.”

Where   Average price of a one-bedroom flat Average per sq ft
1     E1: Aldgate and Whitechapel  £575,444   £1,069
2     WC1: Bloomsbury and Holborn  £610,052   £1,133 
3     W2: Paddington and Bayswater  £697,491  £1,295 

The compromise: the best-value housing in Whitechapel is ex-local authority, and while these flats tend to be solidly built, with good-size rooms, the estates are ugly and depressing, with little green space in the area.

Sandwiched between hip Deptford and hipper Peckham, New Cross Road is shabby but to the north and south are some nice streets of period houses, many converted into flats.

Transport links are also excellent. It is on the East London line, and Overground services to Cannon Street take just 11 minutes.

Becky Munday, managing director of Munday’s estate agents, sees the area changing fast — particularly in the Telegraph Hill conservation area where one-bedroom flats sell for up to £400,000.

London skyline: Telegraph Hill, just south of New Cross (Daniel Lynch)

The best-value flats are to be found in New Cross Road itself.  “It is still 20 to 25 per cent cheaper than Peckham,” says Munday. “There is a new Curzon Cinema and all the local pubs and shops are improving fast.”

Where  Average price of a one-bedroom flat  Average per sq ft
1     SE14: New Cross  £277,072   £514
2     E3: Mile End and Bromley-by-Bow  £330,088  £613
3     SE8: Deptford and Rotherhithe  £336,005  £624

The compromise: New Cross Road roars with traffic and is seriously unpretty, with no café culture.

This corner of east London’s star is on the rise thanks to the ongoing regeneration of Royal Docks and the planned redevelopment of West Ham FC’s old Boleyn Ground.

A network of parks means E6 is surprisingly green, with good transport links and multicultural charm — the Indian restaurants are great. Beckton is on the DLR, with good links to Canary Wharf and the City, while East Ham has the District and Hammersmith & City lines.

New flats in the Royal Docks are too costly for first-timers, and the Boleyn Ground homes will carry a premium, but there is value in local Eighties developments.

Where  Average price of a one-bedroom flat Average per sq ft
1     E6: East Ham and Beckton  £174,710  £324
2     E13: Plaistow  £206,072  £382
3     E7: Forest Gate  £215,044   £399

The compromise: the late-20th century architecture isn’t uplifting. Not much nightlife or café culture.

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