Areas of South London: Buy-to-Let Property Investment Hotspots
South London has an undeserved reputation for being less well connected, less stylish, and a less popular place to live than North London. But for property investors that only means South London has more, more interesting investment opportunities than North London! Here we’ll look at where are the best buy to let opportunities in South London.
Why Invest in South London?
South London comprises the London boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Greenwich, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth. But the South London boroughs are all very different. Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth are mostly densely population inner city boroughs. Boroughs like Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames, Bromley, Bexley and Sutton have less urban rush and more space.
South London transport links are not quite as good as North London’s, it’s true to say. But there are still some good South London commuter locations connected by London Underground, London Overground, Transport for London (TfL) bus services plus London Trams and fast national rail services too. Another attraction of South London is that it has good access to Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, the Kent and Surrey countryside and south coast.
Sights that South London is known for include the South Bank, The Shard, Cutty Sark, O2 Arena, Battersea Power Station, Imperial War Museum, The Oval, Hampton Court and Kew Gardens to name just a few.
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Property Values in South London
South London property prices are lower than in North London on average. The average property price across South London is currently around £480,000. While there are some expensive hotspots, there are also some bargains to be had in South London. The most expensive South London borough is Richmond while the cheapest place to buy a property is in Croydon.
According to HM Land Registry, property prices across South London are currently:
- Bexley - average house price: £350,938
- Bromley - average house price: £435,535
- Croydon - average house price: £376,180
- Greenwich - average house price: £394,809
- Kingston-upon-Thames - average house price: £496,801
- Lambeth - average house price: £546,470
- Lewisham - average house price: £417,152
- Merton - average house price: £524,429
- Richmond-upon-Thames - average house price: £713,067
- Southwark - average house price: £503,092
- Sutton - average house price: £383,369
- Wandsworth - average house price: £616,711
Rental Demand in South London
South London rents vary according to how commutable an area is to central London. South London locations with higher rents tend to be popular for commuter buy to lets, while cheaper districts have a more localised buy-to-let market.
Figures from the Home.co.uk Market Rent Summary show that the average rents across South London boroughs are:
- Bexley - average rent: £1,275 PCM
- Bromley - average rent: £1,349 PCM
- Croydon - average rent: £1,200 PCM
- Greenwich - average rent: £1,604 PCM
- Kingston-upon-Thames - average rent: £1,876 PCM
- Lambeth - average rent: £2,285 PCM
- Lewisham - average rent: £1,432 PCM
- Merton - average rent: £1,753 PCM
- Richmond-upon-Thames - average rent: £2,107 PCM
- Southwark - average rent: £2,800 PCM
- Sutton - average rent: £1,257 PCM
- Wandsworth - average rent: £2,223 PCM
Since some parts of South London have affordable property prices yet strong rents this means landlords can earn strong letting yields in some places. According to Property.xyz South London yields range from 2.7% to 4.1% depending on the area.
Investment in South London
Here’s our guide to property investment across the different boroughs of South London.
Population: 248,000 approximately
Average House Price: £350,938
The London Borough of Bexley is in south-east London right on the fringes of Greater London and on the boundary with Kent. Bexley is a good value property area compared to inner London.
Areas of Bexley include Bexleyheath, Crayford, Erith, Old Bexley, Sidcup, and Welling.
Bexley is covered by the following postcodes: SE2, SE9, SE18, SE28, DA1, DA5, DA6, DA7, DA8, DA14, DA15, DA16, DA17, DA18
Bexley has national rail links towards London and into Kent. Bexley will become a lot better connected to the City of London and West End in 2022 when the new Elizabeth Line/Crossrail station opens at Abbey Wood. Bexley also has great road links on the A2, A20 and to the M25 making it popular with those who work around Kent and the south-east.
Gross average rental yields in Bexley (based on DA5 postcode) are 3%.
Population: 332,300 approximately
Average House Price: £435,535
The London Borough of Bromley is in south-east London right on the fringes of Greater London.
Areas of Bromley borough include the town of Bromley itself and Beckenham, Chislehurst, Hayes, Orpington, Penge, and West Wickham.
Bromley is covered by part or all of the following postcodes: BR1, BR2, BR3, BR4, BR5, BR6, BR7, BR8, CR6, DA14, SE9, SE12, SE19, SE20, SE26, and TN14.
Bromley borough has London Overground and national rail links into London taking as little as 16 minutes. There are long terms plan to extend the London Underground or DLR into Bromley. Bromley has good access to the M25 and M20 for those travelling out of London.
Bromley itself has good local amenities is one of the south-east’s largest regional shopping centres.
Bromley borough is one of the least densely populated London boroughs with large areas of green belt and semi-rural areas. Bromley appeals to buyers and tenants who want to live within reach of London but in a quieter area with more space.
Gross average rental yields in Bromley (based on BR1 postcode) are 3.5%.
Population: 385,000 approximately
Average House Price: £376,180
The London Borough of Croydon is the second largest London borough and is administered by Croydon Council. The Croydon population is expected to exceed 430,000 over the next decade.
Areas within Croydon include Addiscombe, Coulsdon, Norwood, Purley, Selsdon, and Thornton Heath.
Croydon is covered by the following postcodes: CR2, CR3, CR5, CR6, and CR8.
Croydon has excellent transport links to central London. There are railway stations at East Croydon, South Croydon, and West Croydon, and central London is as little as 15 minutes away. Croydon is on the London Trams network too.
Croydon has been undergoing a massive makeover in recent years. Many of the dated 1960s buildings have been demolished or upgraded to new uses and new high rise buildings are being built helping to give Croydon a new ‘mini Manhattan’ look! That’s helping to make Croydon a more attractive location for commuters to buy and rent.
For property investors, Croydon is the third cheapest London borough for house prices. It also offers solid yields: Gross average rental yields in Croydon (based on CR0 postcode) are 4.1%.
For more information take a look at our article, Areas of Croydon: Buy-to-Let Property Investment Hotspots.
Population: 288,500 approximately
Average House Price: £394,809
The London Borough of Greenwich, more correctly known as the Royal Borough of Greenwich, is an ancient and historic London borough right by the River Thames to the south-east of central London. Greenwich is famous worldwide for being the location of the Greenwich Prime Meridian and for Greenwich Mean Time or GMT.
Areas of Greenwich as well as Greenwich itself include Abbey Wood, Charlton, Eltham, Kidbrooke, Plumstead, Thamesmead, and Woolwich.
Greenwich is covered by areas with the following postcodes: BR7, DA15, DA16, SE2, SE3, SE7, SE8, SE10, SE12, SE13, SE18, and SE28.
Greenwich has links to central London on the Docklands Light Railway or DLR and national rail. It is also convenient for the Canary Wharf business district just across the River Thames.
Greenwich is also a popular London tourist location. It is partly a UNESCO World Heritage Site and places of interest include the Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park, O2 Arena, National Maritime Museum, and the Royal Observatory.
Gross average rental yields in Greenwich (based on SE10 postcode) are 3.1%.
Kingston upon Thames
Population: 177,500 approximately
Average House Price: £496,801
Kingston upon Thames, properly known as the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames or Kingston for short, is to the south-west of London and historically part of the county of Surrey.
Areas of Kingston upon Thames include Chessington, Hook, New Malden, Old Malden, Hampton Wick, Surbiton, and Tolworth.
Kingston upon Thames is covered by the following postcodes: KT1, KT2, KT3, KT4, KT5, KT6, KT7, KT9, SW15, and TW10.
Kingston upon Thames borough has good national rail links into central London taking as little as 30 minutes. It also has good road links via the A3 and M3 for those commuting out of London.
Kingston upon Thames is one of the more expensive London boroughs for prices and rents. It is still a very popular residential location, including for London commuters, due to its transport links, large shopping centre, riverside walks, open space, and upmarket vibe.
Places of interest nearby include Richmond Park, Chessington World of Adventures, and Hampton Court Palace. Kingston University London is also in Kingston.
Gross average rental yields in Kingston upon Thames (based on KT1 postcode) are 3.2%.
Population: 326,000 approximately
Average House Price: £546,470
The London Borough of Lambeth sits just across the River Thames from central London and the City of Westminster and is administered by Lambeth Council. The northern part of Lambeth is a densely popular inner-city area, while the southern districts are more suburban.
Areas of Lambeth include Brixton, Clapham, Streatham, Vauxhall and West Norwood.
Lambeth is covered by part or all of the following postcodes: SE1, SE5, SE11, SE19, SE21, SE24, SE27, SW2, SW8, SW9, SW11, SW12 and SW16.
All of Lambeth has great transport connections and Waterloo Station is one of London’s biggest commuter hubs. Some parts of Lambeth are also within walking or cycling distance of central London.
Lambeth used to be an unpopular place to live. In recent years, however, Lambeth has become much more fashionable and is a sought after place to live for those who need to be close to central London.
Sights of interest in Lambeth include the South Bank area which includes the London Eye and the Oval Cricket Ground in Kennington.
Gross average rental yields in Lambeth (based on SE1 postcode) are 2.9%.
Population: 305,000 approximately
Average House Price: £417,152
The London Borough of Lewisham is south-east of central London and in the Lewisham Council area. Its northern areas are inner-city areas while the southern areas are more suburban.
Areas of Lewisham include Lewisham itself plus Blackheath, Brockley, Catford, Deptford, Forest Hill, New Cross and Sydenham.
Lewisham is covered by some or all of the following postcodes: SE3, SE4, SE6, SE13, SE8, SE9, SE10, SE12, SE13, SE14, SE15, SE16, SE19, SE23 and SE26.
Most of Lewisham has really good transport links using national rail, London Overground and the DLR. There is a plan to extend the London Underground Bakerloo Line to Lewisham and Hayes.
Lewisham is one of the South London boroughs that used to be considered unfashionable. It has gained popularity in recent years thanks to affordable prices and rents.
Places of interest in Lewisham include the Horniman Museum. Millwall FC is also in Lewisham.
Gross average rental yields in Lewisham (based on SE13 postcode) are 3%.
Population: 206,500 approximately
Average House Price: £524,429
The London Borough of Merton is in south-west London. Wimbledon is part of Merton borough and is one of London’s most upmarket and expensive residential locations. Locations like Mitcham and Morden are more up and coming offering much cheaper property.
Merton is covered by the following postcodes: CR4, CR7, SM4, SW16, SW17, SW19 and SW20. Merton Council administers the borough.
Some parts of Merton are very well connected to central London and so appeal to commuters. Wimbledon, in particular, is just 17 minutes from London Waterloo and is also on the London Underground District Line. Morden is on the London Underground’s Northern Line. There are plans for a Crossrail 2 station at Wimbledon too.
Places of interest in Merton include Wimbledon Common and the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, which is best known for hosting The Championships.
Gross average rental yields in Merton (based on SW20 postcode) are 2.7%.
For more information take a look at our article: Areas of Merton: Buy-to-Let Property Investment Hotspots.
Richmond upon Thames
Population: 198,000 approximately
Average House Price: £713,067
The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is an outer London borough and in south-west London. Although considered part of South London some of this borough lies north of the River Thames. Richmond on Thames is South London’s most expensive borough for property prices but prices are still lower here than most of central London.
Areas of Richmond upon Thames include Barnes, East Sheen, Ham, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick, Kew, Mortlake, Richmond Hill, Strawberry Hill, Teddington and Twickenham.
Richmond upon Thames is covered by the following postcodes: KT2, SW14, SW15, TW1, TW2, TW3, TW4, TW7, TW9, TW10, TW11 and TW2.
Richmond upon Thames has national rail services into London plus London Overground and London Underground services. Richmond also offers good access to London Heathrow Airport.
Many of the towns in Richmond upon Thames are fashionable, upmarket London commuter areas thanks to the area’s good transport links and lots of green space including Richmond Park, Hampton Court Palace and Bushy Park.
Other places in Richmond include the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Hampton Court Palace and Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby.
Gross average rental yields in Richmond upon Thames (based on TW9 postcode) are a tight 2.9%.
Population: 318,800 approximately
Average House Price: £503,092
The London Borough of Southwark is just across the River Thames from the City of London. London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge and Southwark Bridge connect Southwark to the city.
Areas within the Southwark Council area include Borough, Bermondsey, Dulwich, Elephant and Castle, Nunhead, Peckham, Peckham Rye, Rotherhithe and Walworth.
Southwark is covered by the following postcodes: SE1, SE5, SE8, SE11, SE15, SE16, SE17, SE19, SE21, SE22, SE23, SE24 and SE26.
Southwark has some of the best transport links in London with London Underground, London Overground and national rail connections. London Bridge station is in Southwark.
As London has expanded, part of Southwark has been absorbed into central London so there are now many offices and other workplaces in the borough. What was an unfashionable place to live is now a popular residential area.
Sights in Southwark include The Shard, City Hall, Tate Modern Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. London South Bank University is also in Southwark.
Gross average rental yields in Southwark (based on SE1 postcode) are 2.9%.
Population: 206,000 approximately
Average House Price: £383,369
The London Borough of Sutton is an outer London borough in the very south of Greater London. Sutton fringes Surrey and is suburban and offers larger houses and more space than inner London.
Areas of Sutton include, as well as Sutton itself, Beddington, Carshalton, Cheam, North Cheam, Rose Hill, Wallington and Worcester Park.
Sutton is covered by the following postcodes: CR0, CR4, CR5, CR8, KT4, SM1, SM2, SM3, SM4, SM5, SM6 and SM7.
Sutton has national rail services into central London (to London Bridge, Victoria and St. Pancras) but there are no London Underground or Overground services to Sutton.
Although Sutton is commutable into London it mainly attracts people who want to live within reach of London but in a quieter area. Sutton scores highly for its quality of life and is particularly popular with families.
Gross average rental yields in Sutton (based on SM1 postcode) are 3.8%.
Population: 330,000 approximately
Average House Price: £616,711
The London Borough of Wandsworth is in south-west London and is a densely populated urban borough.
Areas in the Wandsworth Council area include Balham, Battersea, Earlsfield, Nine Elms, Putney, Roehampton, Southfields, Tooting and Tooting Bec.
Wandsworth is covered by the following postcodes: SW4, SW8, SW11, SW12, SW15, SW16, SW17, SW18, SW19.
Wandsworth is served by the London Underground’s District Line and Northern Line, London Overground and national rail services. Commuters can also cycle into central London using Cycle Superhighways C7 and CS8.
Wandsworth is a once-unfashionable borough that has become much more sought after as a place to live in recent years as London has expanded outwards and it is now a commuter favourite. It’s also close to some of the most fashionable parts of London such as Wimbledon, Fulham and Chelsea.
Battersea Power Station is in Wandsworth. The old power station site is being transformed into a new neighbourhood with apartments and other amenities.
Gross average rental yields in Wandsworth (based on SW18 postcode) are 3.2%.