I'm a freelance writer living in Shoreditch, frequently commenting on life in London; from coffee, to pubs, food, science and anything new and interesting.
Published May 19th 2014
London is without doubt one of the best cities in the world to live in. The eclectic variety of its inhabitants and the sheer scale of opportunities, both professional and social, ensure that it's almost impossible to find yourself stuck with nothing to do.
However the recent boom in property prices throughout London have made it increasingly difficult for many of us to break away from the shackles of rented accommodation and enjoy the capital from the relative luxury of our own homes.
Areas like Chelsea and Kensington are certainly not practical for the vast majority of us, and the more historically affordable boroughs like Clapham and Islington are now largely reserved for high-income earners. All however is not lost, with a bit of searching and a healthy dose of perseverance, there are still some areas that can make our weekend house hunt seem exciting and full of possibility.
Area: Bordered by the very desirable Dulwich Village, West Norwood certainly has some upmarket neighbours. It has been overlooked as an area to live in for years, but this is all starting to change. Property prices have increased by 30% over the last year and you'll have to be quick to take advantage. An influx of middle class young professionals has brought about change to the area and with strong transport links and a community feel, this area is certainly worth checking out.
Time to Leicester Square: 41 minutes
House Prices: Steadily increasing you can still pick up a 2 bedroom flat for around £275k.
Area: South East London in the borough of Lewisham between Brockley and Dulwich. There's a good variety of pubs, restaurants and shops and the green spaces of Horniman, Blythe Hill and One Tree Hill all provide a pleasant sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Time to Leicester Square: 34 minutes
House Prices: There are some great finds on Right Move with a lovely 2 bedroom flat going for £265k.
Area: Close to Forest Hill, Sydenham has some beautiful Edwardian Houses and the nearby bars and restaurants of Crystal Palace are ideal for a night out. The area can be divided into two geographical locations, Upper and Lower Sydenham, with Upper Sydenham being the most desired. The Thorpe Estate is one of the most sought after areas to live in throughout Sydenham.
Time to Leicester Square: 37 minutes
House Prices: Modern 2 bedroom flat for £280k.
Area: Located in the London Borough of Southwark most people I've spoken to have never heard of Nunhead. It's quiet, leafy and has a great selection of local shops including a butcher, fishmonger and bakery. If you're looking for nightlife this probably isn't the place for you, but for some, that's all part of its appeal. There is a small selection of pubs to ensure you don't go completely crazy and situated in Zone 2 it's pretty close to central London.
Time to Leicester Square: 34 minutes
House Prices: One of the more expensive areas on our list but a very appealing 2 bedroom flat can be found for £325k.
Area: Located in South West London Colliers Wood is largely residential and not the prettiest place to live, but by London standards it's not that busy, relatively safe and could be a great investment for the years to come.
Time to Leicester Square: 29 minutes on the northern line.
House Prices: A rather lovely 2 bedroom flat will set you back around £315k but there are more affordable options available.
Area: Bordered by Ealing, Chiswick and Shepherds Bush there is plenty to do in the surrounding area, from shopping to nightlife. The North and West areas have leafy streets and the houses tend to be larger than in the East, which is a little rundown in places. It's a very popular haunt for our Antipodean cousins and if a boisterous night out is what you're after, look no further.
Time to Leicester Square: 40 minutes
House Prices: There are some very spacious 2-bedroom flats going for £280k.
Buying your own property in today's climate is certainly not easy, but if you find a good mortgage broker in London, spend time hunting for those rare gems and research the lesser known parts of London, there are still some great opportunities to be had.