Where to buy a home in London 2019: the best areas, new builds, period conversions and incentive offers for first-time buyers

First-time buyers are already the dominant group in the current London property market and this is set to increase over the next five years.

By 2025 sales to first-time buyers are predicted to account for almost half of all transactions in the capital. 

But with average house prices still high and expected to rise, where should you look for a first home now?

Where to buy a new-build first home

Tower Hamlets

For those who have amassed a deposit, with or without Help to Buy, Tower Hamlets has the biggest pipeline of new-build homes. 

New data from CBRE reveals 3,463 units are under construction while 1,309 have planning permission. 

Newham and Ealing come joint second, with Barnet and Southwark fourth and fifth respectively. 

There are one-bedroom apartments available in L&Q’s Ropemakers Yard in Limehouse, Tower Hamlets, with Help to Buy.

Close to Canary Wharf and the City, Limehouse has pubs overlooking the Thames such as Gordon Ramsay’s The Narrow.

Prices start from £399,950 (0333 2341165.)


This month the development arm of Croydon council, Brick by Brick, has launched its latest small scheme, Faithful Court. Two-bedroom homes start from £460,000 with Help to Buy available.

Tom Hawkins and Hannah Levene, both 26, have bought a two-bedroom apartment in the Ikon development in Croydon, by Bellway Homes. It’s 30 per cent bigger than their rented flat in Putney.

“Croydon is an up-and-coming area with £5.25 billion being invested over the next five years,” says Tom. Help to Buy is available and prices start from £300,000 (0333 577 0005). 

New homes with added incentives

In a tough market, many developers are offering incentives to first-time buyers. 

Strawberry Star is selling 77 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and duplexes in its new Bronze development in Wandsworth, across three towers. 

Prices start from 445,000 with one-year memberships fully paid to the Nuffield Health Club for purchasers who reserve a home this month. The developer is also offering a deal on furniture by the designer Inko (020 3811 0000). 

At Crest Nicholson’s Totteridge Place in Barnet, an apartment comes with a £250 Oyster Card.

With a two-bedroom apartment comes a six month mortgage holiday, where the developer pays the mortgage, and £10,000 towards stamp duty (full price is £589,950). Interested parties should call 01932 580555.

Period homes for first-time buyers

First-time buyers after archetypal London architecture, should look to the Victorian terraces in the outer boroughs. 

Featherstone Leigh is selling a one-bedroom apartment in a period conversion in leafy Teddington for £375,000 (020 8549 9449.) 

Marsh & Parsons has a two-bedroom apartment in Tooting Bec on its books for £495,000 with a roof terrace (020 8767 3655). 

There’s a one-bedroom pad available through Knight Frank in Clapham North for £410,000. It has period features such as plasterwork and fireplaces with deep-set sash windows. 

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