It goes without saying that London is an amazing place to live, but when it comes to buying your forever home, it might not be the most realistic city to settle in. If you’ve all but given up on finding your dream home in the capital, there are some gorgeous towns across the UK that have a number of similarities to London, but don’t come at such an extreme price tag.
Last year, Londoners spent more than £55billion on Houses outside the capital, and London has seen a mass exodus in 2020, with 20% more people leaving the nation’s capital than moving in. An ex-Londonoise, Tess Eames, moved to Leeds from London and recently bought her first home on her own.
Tess explained: “I initially left London due to the pandemic and losing my job – the lockdown made me reconsider my priorities for what I wanted out of life and a future home. I started looking for jobs in areas similar to the borough I lived in, mostly up north.
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“Leeds appealed to me both for its proximity to the countryside and its vibrant city life with lots of bars, cafes and restaurants. I have a much better life balance, more time spent in nature, more income available and eventually I was able to take my first steps on the property ladder.”
At MyLondon we think there’s no better place to live than London – but there’s nothing wrong with keeping your options open and, like Tess, looking further afield to buy a home. With this in mind, to help buyers leaving the capital find their dream home elsewhere in the UK, the experts at Atom Bank have twinned eight of London’s boroughs with their “twins” elsewhere in the UK.
Islington v Leeds
Islington is one of the most restaurant-dense areas in the UK, with an eclectic mix of culturally diverse venues, it’s every foodie’s dream spot. With a wide choice of theaters and bars along the peaceful Regent’s Canal, islington is a dream location for the intrepid culturalist.
According to RightMove, the average house price in Islington is £857,759. Swap Islington for Leeds, West Yorkshire for 73% less home price – similar to Islington, Leeds is a modern city built on a proud history. At just a fraction of the price, a house in Leeds will cost you an average of just £236,713. With a variety of cultural sights, a growing restaurant scene and the beautiful Leeds and Liverpool Canal running through the centre, it’s the perfect location for those heading out islington for new pastures.
Westminster v Durham
Home to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, westminster is the historical and political epicenter of Great Britain. But it’s cultural pockets like Soho, The West End and Covent Garden that set Westminster apart from the rest of London. Home to the best food, shows and concerts London has to offer, homes in this area are highly sought after.
Instead, Durham is a beautiful city set high in the northeast of England, its cobbled streets are full of history and the former grandeur of Durham Cathedral dominates the city’s skyline. But it’s Durham’s fine dining and winding streets that make it a great social alternative to London life. Whether you are a first-time buyer or simply fed up with the exorbitant cost of mortgages in London, Durham has something for everyone.
Westminster average home the price is £1,132,968, while in Durham it is only £206,864. Exchange westminster for Durham, that would mean up to 82% lower house prices based on that average.
Camden v Liverpool
Best known for its bustling markets and bustling street food stalls, Camden is the pinnacle of eclectic culture, with a thriving local music scene. But you could trade Camden for Liverpool, in the North West of England, up to 83% less property prices. The average house price in Camden is £1,174,635. In Liverpool it’s just £202,233.
Camden It may be heaven for alternative culture, but there’s a reason Liverpool have been crowned the Pop Capital of the World by the Guinness Book of World Records. The streets of the city teem with live music, St George’s Hall is a powerhouse of historic events and performances, and the Cavern Club’s history with the Beatles makes it the perfect destination for music lovers looking to leave London behind.
Kensington and Chelsea v Bath
A district famous for its picturesque streets and the myriad of historical sites, Kensington and Chelsea is a history buff’s dream and with over 70% of the area being a conservation area, it’s no surprise that it’s the most expensive part of London.
Residents of Kensington and Chelsea could swap for Bath for a 75% lower average home prices. Packed with historic sites, independent shops and a vibrant social scene, Bath is a hotbed of culture that could be the perfect fit for a Kensington resident considering a move. The town’s average property price of £535,135 puts it in the UK’s high end, but still well below the average asking price of £2.1million in Kensington and Chelsea.
Hammersmith and Fulham v Manchester
Home to the Hammersmith Apollo – one of London’s best-known events venues – as well as two major football clubs, Hammersmith and Fulham is a combination of world-class entertainment.
It’s also a stone’s throw from the excitement and glamor of Westminster. With home with prices averaging £991,167, it’s obvious the location makes it a popular destination for young professionals looking to take advantage of the borough’s varied attractions. Despite this, exchanging Hammersmith and Fulham for Manchester, North West England, would lead to a 95% drop in property prices. According to RightMove, homes in Manchester cost an average of £249,576.
The northern powerhouse that is Manchester dominates England’s cultural landscape outside of London, with world-class theater and entertainment that helps it adapt easily to Hammersmith and Fulham . For football fanatics, Manchester is home to the two footballing giants of the North, Manchester United and Man City.
Hackney v Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Once one of London’s main industrial hubs, Hackney has reinvented itself as a haven for young creatives. With great food, strong community ties and unrivaled nightlife, it’s easy to see why Hackney has become one of London’s most popular boroughs for young professionals looking for a taste of the magic. Londoner. If you trade Hackney for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East of England you will find home prices are 64% lower on average.
A city steeped in industrial history, Newcastle has diversified away from the failing ship and train manufacturing industry and is best known for its dark beer, friendly locals and fantastic nightlife. Houses in Hackney cost an average of £695,273. Whereas in Newcastle you can get your forever home back for just £234,296.
Richmond-upon-Thames v Nottingham
The only borough to span both sides of the River Thames, Richmond is a beautiful borough that offers canalside walks, celebrity appearances and a wealth of greenery, including richmond Park.
Swap Richmond for Nottingham, East Midlands for 74% lower average home price – fondly marked Robin Hood County; with beautiful parks and forests, fantastic connections via the extensive network of canals and a rich history, Nottingham is the perfect exchange for richmond residents. There are almost endless activities for families looking to relocate somewhere outside of the capital that can match London’s variety.
The average house price in Nottingham is just £241,371 – while Richmond will set you back £971,917.
Wandsworth v Sheffield
The home of Clapham, Balham and the famous Wandsworth Common, the borough of Wandsworth has a culturally diverse population of young professionals and some of the best markets and food stalls in the capital. Swap Wandsworth for Sheffield, South yorkshire for average house prices 72% lower.
Once known as “Steel City”, Sheffield has transformed into one of the cultural mainstays of the North. A city with plenty of green spaces and vibrant nightlife, it’s a perfect choice for the young professional who wants to escape the capital and live in a place that can match from Wandsworth vibe.
The average house price in Wandsworth is £891,228, according to RightMove. In Sheffield it’s just £227,202 – what a bargain!
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