Where to buy in London: top 30 fastest-rising hotspots for first-time buyers from Peckham to Walthamstow

South-east London postcodes are a favourite with the capital's first-timers, but discover which areas are proving to be the best investment for newbie buyers...

More than a quarter of the first-time buyer destinations across London have an SE postcode, and one of those destination favourites is Peckham. 

Even five years ago anyone who suggested Peckham, fictional home of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter and with a troubled history of gangs and squats, would have been laughed out of town. Now it is a hotspot.

Peckham has become a place of hipster pilgrimage. Today it emerged that the allure of a Campari spritz at Frank’s Café atop the Peckham multi- storey car park has helped SE15 to become London’s first-time buyer capital.

£470,000: a one-bedroom apartment for sale in Wood’s Road, Peckham

Research by Hamptons International found that almost six out of 10 homes sold in the area go to newbie buyers, who pay an average £385,750 for a home. 

Prices in the area have risen by 15 per cent year on year as a result of its popularity.

“First-time buyers love Peckham because there are so many restaurants and bars, and it is all quite independent and anti-chain,” says Becky Munday, managing director of Munday’s estate agents.

“Peckham really erupted in 2012 with the Overground extension and it has been infectious — once one person wants to be in Peckham they all do.”

First-time buyers’ dream Peckham home, says Munday, is a two-bedroom Victorian conversion which would cost between £600,000 and £675,000 (a similar sized ex-local authority flat would cost £450,000 to £500,000).

The only area to match Peckham, according to today’s study, which highlights the top 30 locations for FTB in London, was neighbouring Brixton, where 57 per cent of sales are to first-timers who pay an average £650,000. Prices in the area have risen by 20 per cent year on year.

David Fell, author of today’s report, believes the introduction of higher stamp duty rates for landlords in April, combined with a less beneficial tax regime for landlords, has helped first-time buyers by removing competition for starter-sized homes.

“Five months on, first-time buyers are still taking the place of some investors and make up a bigger proportion of London buyers,” he says.

“While first-time buyers still favour more affordable locations in east and south London, a cooler market with less competition means they’ve been able to push into places they’d tended to avoid.”

Across London what the league table shows is that first-time buyers are colonising wide swathes of south-east London in particular. 

In Forest Hill Javaid Ahmed, sales manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, said that a two-bedroom flat in a mansion block or Victorian conversions would cost around £450,000. In East Dulwich, just up the road but a world away in gentrification and popularity, the same sort of property would cost £550,000 to £575,000.

The most expensive area to make today’s list is Hampstead and Chalk Farm, where 47 per cent of sales are to FTB able to pay more than £900,000 for a starter home. At the other end of the scale, FTB in Dagenham or Barking pay an average of about £250,000 to ascend the property ladder.

The fastest-growing markets are Seven Kings, in deepest east London, where an average first-time buyer home costs £380,000, and Plaistow and West Ham, in slightly less-far flung east London, where first homes cost an average £323,000.

All three areas have seen price growth of 23 per cent in the past 12 months.

Seven Kings’ profile has undoubtedly been raised by its presence on the new Crossrail line and its affordable family-sized homes.

Plaistow and West Ham are benefiting from regeneration including the redevelopments of Plaistow Hospital and West Ham football ground.

Simon Hart, sales manager at Foxtons, said first-time buyers were coming to Plaistow to buy three-bedroom period terrace houses for £425,000 to £450,000. 

Most are couples without children — yet — but would rather jump straight into a house than buy a flat and have to move again.

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