The 10 most expensive places to buy in London boroughs by salary

When it comes to finding a home in London, it can be tricky to find a place that is affordable as the vast majority of houses are above the national average house price of £218,000. Research by has investigated the relation between average house prices in London, compared to local average earnings using data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

When considering the average local income and the average house prices from London boroughs, found a stark difference between boroughs. Understandably, house prices in the most affluent boroughs of London are costly, with house prices in the royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea reaching a staggering £1,317,424, closely followed by Westminster with the average price of a home costing £1,025,114. Those living in the City of London are seen to be the most affordable in London, where house prices (£763,748) are just 5.3 times the average salary (£144,000) - meaning it is the most realistic space for single buyers living in London on their wage, despite still being highly expensive. However, residents in the London borough of Brent or Waltham Forest have to save just over 15 times the annual salary to afford a home.

According to Rightmove’s latest house price index, average asking prices have hit an all-time high, with outer London seeing the highest asking price increase (1.2%), with Greater London following (0.9%) and inner London last (0.6%). Although, despite having the largest asking price increase, outer London is still the best place to live and it is expected that the house prices will continue to rise, providing homeowners with a substantial equity.

1. Brent

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The London borough of Brent, situated in North West London, forms part of ‘outer’ London, with generous transport links from the London Underground, London Overground and National Rail services, boasting 25 different train stations. Major towns within the borough include Kilburn, Willesden, Harlesden and most-notably, Wembley – the host of major football matches for the England Football club and major cup play offs, as well as being the temporary home of Tottenham Hotspur FC (for the 17-18 season).

Despite being a popular area to live, the area of Brent is the most expensive borough when comparing house prices and the average local earnings. The average income of a resident from Wembley earns approximately £31,200 per annum, with house prices cashing in at an average of £494,913. This signifies that the average person would have to save almost 16 times their wage in order to afford a home in the London borough.

Most notable landmarks: Wembley Stadium, Wembley Arena, Neasden Temple, Shree Swaminarayan Temple

2. Waltham Forest

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In second place comes Waltham Forest: the second most expensive London borough. Waltham Forest is located in the North East of London, with the north and south of the borough split by the ever-busy North Circular Road contrasting distinctly with the south being more urban and the north elevated by more affluent residential developments including parks and greenery.

Waltham Forest is the second most expensive borough when taking into account income and house prices. found that the average income of those living in the district is £28,200, but the house prices are approximately £438,855 – and are still on the rise; meaning an individual would need 15 and a half times their income to afford a home in the vicinity.

Most notable landmarks: The northern part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is located in Leyton (a district in the borough), Leyton Orient FC, William Morris Gallery

3. Hackney


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Hackney is a London borough within ‘inner’ London, north east to the pricey City of London area, with the heart of the borough surrounded by its love of culture. The population in the area is ethnically diverse, with 41% of people describing themselves as ‘White British’, creating a city of multiculturalism.

The area of Hackney, shaped by 14 different districts, is one of the most unaffordable places to live in London. The average income for the borough is said to be around £37,100, whereas it costs on average £545,921 to buy a home, meaning it would cost approximately 14.71 times of the typical wage to buy a house in the area according to research.

Most notable landmarks: Hoxton Square, Hackney Empire (theatre), Sutton House, Victoria Miro Gallery (contemporary art gallery), Finsbury Park, Shoreditch

4. Haringey


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The London borough of Haringey is situated in North London and is classified as part of ‘outer’ London. The borough is filled with extreme contrasts, including areas such as Highgate, Muswell Hill and Crouch End – classified as some of the most prosperous areas of the capital.

Haringey has the highest average income of the previous three boroughs at £39,500 per annum, however the average house price is the highest too, with a house costing £556,116 – 14.07 times more than the average local income.

Most notable landmarks: Alexandra Palace, Bruce Castle, Highpoint I and II, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, River Lea

5. Ealing



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The borough of Ealing forms part of ‘outer’ London, predominantly situated in the west of the capital, is the third largest borough population-wise and the 11th largest in size. Ealing has numerous National Rail and London Underground stations, with 25 train stations throughout the district making it simple to travel around London, or other areas of the UK, easily.

Ealing’s house prices are distinctly less than that of Haringey, with house prices costing on average £491,441. Despite the lower average house price, on the whole, the wage per annum for an Ealing resident is £35,300, resulting in individuals living in the area having to save their income a mere 13.92 times to afford a home.

Most notable landmarks: Brentford FC, Ealing Abbey, The Manor House

6. Newham

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Newham is five miles east of the City of London and north of the River Thames and was one of the main host boroughs for the 2012 summer Olympics. The area contains the Olympic Park, as well as the famous London Stadium. The name of the London borough is formed from Old English 'hamm' meaning 'a dry area of land between rivers or marshland', referring to the rivers Lea, Thames, Roding and their marshes. The borough is home to 24 different districts, including the regeneration area of Stratford following the 2012 Olympics, and up and coming town Canning Town.

The average income of residents in Newham is significantly lower than any other London district, with the typical person earning just £25,400 per annum. In comparison, Kensington and Chelsea earn a staggering £144,000, and just over fifteen thousand pounds more with £39,000 in Haringey. As a result of this, the average house price is lower at just £353,476, which means the average person would need to save their annual pay 13.91 times to afford a house.

Most notable landmarks: The Olympic Park, Rosetta Art Centre, Three Mills, West Ham United FC

7. Lewisham


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The London borough of Lewisham is based in the south-east of London and forms part of ‘inner’ London, with the River Thames running near the northern boundary. There are no London Underground stations in the borough because it is part of the London Overground, however there are many train stations, providing good transport links all over London and surrounding areas.

In Lewisham the average house price is approximately £448,982, and when compared with the average house prices in the region, an individual would need to save their annual income almost 13 times to be able to buy a house of their own.

Most notable landmarks: Blackheath, Millwall FC, Goldsmiths University

8. Hillingdon


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Hillingdon, previously known as Uxbridge, is the westernmost borough in Greater London. The borough is situated within the Metropolitan Green Belt, making it one of the least densely populated of all the London boroughs. Situated near London with good transport links, it allows a more ‘rural’ feel due to the vast open spaces of the River Colne in the north of the borough and the Normal Leddy Memorial Gardens in the south.

Comparatively, Hillingdon is around three times more affordable than Brent, being just 12.87 times more the average person’s salary in the area, with the average house costing approximately £297,265.

Most notable landmarks: Heathrow Airport, Brunel University, River Colne, Grand Union Canal, Ruislip Lido


9. Lambeth

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The London borough of Lambeth forms part of inner London, just south of the River Thames. Home to many London landmarks and popular tourist attractions, including Southbank and the London Eye, the O2 Academy in Brixton, and other notable parks and pieces of London architecture. Transport links in the area are vast, with access to London Underground stations.

The London borough of Lambeth is just 12.69 times more the average person’s salary in the area, which is approximately £50,000, when the average house costing approximately £636,159.

Most notable landmarks: South Bank (London Eye), Vauxhall, O2 Academy (Brixton), Archbishop’s Park, Clapham Common, Brockwell Park, The Oval Cricket Ground

10. Harrow


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Harrow, situated in the north-west of London, borders Hertfordshire to the north and other London boroughs to the south. Due to being a London borough, whilst near rural areas, there are numerous National Rail, London Overground and London Underground stations, including Canons Park, Harrow on the Hill, Hatch End and Stanmore.

The average price of a house in the borough of Harrow costs approximately £530,197, which is far more affordable than other London boroughs, such as Brent and Waltham Forest. When taking into account the average individual’s annual wages from the vicinity, they would need to save their wages 12.52 times, in comparison to a staggering 15.86 in Brent.

Most notable landmarks: Barnet FC, Grim’s Dyke, Stanmore Common, Canons Park

Tags: London, housing