Consider the merits of these five boroughs when looking for a family home in the capital.
When people think of London, they tend to think of bustling Oxford Street, the buzzing beehive that is the City and the busy shopping streets made famous on the big screen.
However, London isn’t just a city for students, young professionals and tourists. The capital is vast and with numerous residential areas that don’t make it into the popular imagination. Whether it’s the urban chic of Tower Hamlets in the East End, south of the river or the leafy Lewisham, a lot of people choose to settle in the capital and raise their family.
Whether your budget is tight or you’ve got a comfortable amount to spend when looking for a London home, these five boroughs have everything from great green spaces to good schools.
Best for: Brilliant state schools
Average property price: £552,394
Kingston is a quaint medieval market town set right on the River Thames and just 12 miles from central London. This makes it a very popular spot because it gives families the best of both worlds.
This area’s state school students get the best GCSE results in London, followed by Sutton and Barnet. It seems that life runs at a more sedate pace in Kingston and children walking to school are safer – it has the fewest recorded pedestrian injuries in London.
Best for: Peace and quiet
Average property price: £529,024
East London’s Tower Hamlets is home to institutions like Brick Lane, Canary Wharf and Spitalfields Market. It’s very central but surprisingly quiet. When it comes to decibels, Tower Hamlets in the East End has the lowest readings in London and is deceptively quiet for such a thriving area.
Four thousand decibel readings were taken throughout the capital, revealing an average of 66 decibels. Tower Hamlets scored just 53.3, followed by Sutton (53.8) and Waltham Forest (56.1).
Best for: Greenery
Average property price: £473,596
Lewisham is a real mix. It’s great for shopping, has easy access to Canary Wharf and is surprisingly full of green spaces and parks, making it the best choice for families looking for quiet (and free!) weekend activities.
There are 45 green spaces to choose from and the local authority is very active in keeping them clean, safe and accessible.
Barking and Dagenham
Best for: More space
Average property price: £314,554
This east London borough has the highest population of under-16s in the capital, so it’s already pretty popular with families. It’s further out than other areas on this list but you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck when it comes to buying.
If you’re after the biggest house for the lowest price, you can’t get better than Barking and Dagenham. The average cost per m² is £3,916, which is significantly less than the average London square metre value – £8,091!
Best for: Low crime rates
Average property price: £826,833
Richmond is a very popular London borough with high house prices to match. Residents have access to some of the best parks in the area including Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace. There’s the added advantage that’s it’s only a short journey to Heathrow.
One of the biggest pulls for families is the fact that Richmond has the fewest recorded incidents of violent crime and drug offences in London, so you can sleep easier at night.
A London property search is never easy, especially when you’re house hunting for the whole family. While most Londoners would agree that, unless money is no object, you can’t have it all (great schools, central location, lots of green space, big garden, low house price combined just doesn’t exist), each borough has its own character and pros and cons. Hopefully, this list will help you find the right match for you and your family.