London is an exciting, dynamic city to live in. No two areas are the same, which means it can be difficult to choose the best spot for you to call your home. There are trendy areas, professional areas, quieter ones, and family-oriented ones. Deciding where to live in London should depend on what your priorities are when looking for a new home.
To help you narrow down your options and find the perfect neighbourhood for you, we’ll look at some of the best areas to live in London in 2019 and some tips for finding an apartment that suits you.
Find an apartment: where to look
Going to the local real estate agent is no longer your only option for finding somewhere to live, although some still prefer to search this way. There are lots of websites you can use to browse available flats and houses in London. This makes it much easier to see what your options are and how much they cost without trawling around the city.
Looking for an apartment online is especially useful for anyone moving to London from another country or even another city within the UK. This way, you can find somewhere to live before you relocate, and then move in straight away once you arrive in London. Doing this eliminates the need for temporary accommodation when you first move. But if you’d rather see your options in person before deciding, you can still make the process easier by doing most of the research before you move and lining up plenty of viewings.
Here on Nestpick, we have a range of listings for short to long-term apartments to rent in London. These are ideal for temporary accommodation when arriving in London as well as more permanent solutions. You can search by city or a smaller area, or even draw out a map to specify where you want to look within London.
If you’re looking for a room in a flatshare, which is a great way to save money on rent in London, then we have also got you covered. Sometimes it may be useful to keep an eye on student boards, and the good old word of mouth could get you to find your next roomies!
Know your budget
One of the first questions when deciding where to live in London should be – what is your budget? Knowing your budget along with the average house prices of different areas will help you to refine your search. You can quickly decide which areas to rule out if they exceed your budget, as well as seeing which ones to focus your search on
When it comes to renting, you need to compare how much you earn to how much you spend per month. Add up all necessary expenditures like food, insurance, utilities, petrol, clothes, etc. How much you have left to spend after this should give you an idea of how much monthly rent you can afford. Don’t forget to budget in some extra money for emergencies so you don’t get stuck when an appliance breaks in your house, for example.
Know your needs
Once you know your budget, you can decide what you need from your home and how realistic this is compared to that budget. You could try making a list of required and desired features of your new home so you know what to look for when house hunting. Prioritising the items on this list will also help you decide what you can sacrifice if necessary. You can then conduct your search with these things in mind, quickly ruling properties out if they don’t meet your requirements.
Some key things to decide might include the number of bedrooms you need, whether you need a garage, a garden, and an attic, for example. How much storage space do you need? Do you want an apartment that has everything in place or are you looking for a renovation project? If you’re renting, are you looking for a furnished or an unfurnished apartment? This might especially be important for expats because moving into a furnished apartment is much more convenient if you’re relocating from another country.
As well as the house or apartment itself, you should also consider what you need from its location. Does it need to be close to a particular underground line or close to your workplace? If you’re moving with kids, do you need schools and parks nearby? Is it a priority to live in a quiet area or an especially safe area, for example? You might find the perfect house but if it’s not in the right area, then it could be a deal breaker.
The best areas to live in London
Hopefully you know by now what you’re looking for in your new London home, but which areas should you start looking in? Let’s look at some of the most popular areas to live in London and what’s so great about them to give you an idea of where to start. Each neighbourhood includes the average monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in that area.
Photo by: Matt Brown
Average monthly rent – £1,602
In 2018, The Sunday Times listed Bermondsey as the best place to live in London, based on a variety of different factors, including house prices, crime rates, schools, and job availability. This South-East London location has become popular among young professionals and affluent London residents, and it is developing to accommodate this with lots of modern, fashionable bars and restaurants popping up. Bermondsey, London has lots of trendy apartments and lofts available to rent.
Photo by: Stu Smith
Average monthly rent – £1,462
If safety is one of your top priorities, then Richmond is a great option, having had the lowest crime rate across London since the year 2000. This makes Richmond one of the best places to live in London for families to settle down, also with plenty of good schools in the area. It boasts nice views of the River Thames and a great community and welcoming atmosphere. Richmond also appeared at number 8 in the Sunday Times top 10.
Photo by: Webzooloo
Average monthly rent – £1,646
North London’s Camden is a well-known area, making it another popular one to live in. It’s a vibrant and culturally diverse neighbourhood, both in terms of its people and all the different cuisines represented by cafes, bars, and restaurants. Its central location and abundance of places to shop, eat, and drink make it a popular location among both students and young professionals. It’s also a good place for families to live, with many highly ranked schools located nearby.
Photo by: Jim Linwood
Average monthly rent – £1,640
Taking third place on the Sunday Times’ list, Fulham is popular amongst professionals and expats, especially those coming from Australia and nearby countries. Being near to the centre of London and easily accessible by the Underground, many people choose Fulham as an easy place to commute to and from work. There’s also plenty on offer in Fulham, including luxury flats to live in and 24-hour bars for nights out.
Photo by: Dun.can
Average monthly rent – £1,373
Brixton is a great place for nightlife in London, so a lot of students live and socialise there. It is also a relatively affordable area for London, which is another advantage for students and young professionals starting a career in London. Rent prices are quite affordable, as are the prices of local goods and services. There are lots of local amenities in Brixton as well as plenty of lively bars and restaurants.
Photo by: Matt Buck
Average monthly rent – £1,422
Mile End is another popular student hangout, partly due to its proximity to local universities, but also because of all the amenities available in this neighbourhood, adding convenience to the student life. Queen Mary University of London is located in Mile End, so a lot of this institute’s students choose to live in this area. UEL and LSE are also reasonably close and easy to access by nearby Underground lines.
Photo by: Herry Lawford
Average monthly rent – £1,491
Clapham is a lively neighbourhood, home to lots of students, expats, and young professionals. For students, KCL and UCL are just across the River Thames from Clapham, easy to get to via the London Underground. Clapham is also home to the famous Clapham Commons, a huge park that is home to an annual music festival and is generally great for chilling out in or going for a jog. Since it attracts lots of students and expats, this neighbourhood is constantly changing, with new people arriving all the time.
Now that you know some of the best places to find and rent apartments in London to see what kind of accommodation suits your needs and budget. This is obviously not an exhaustive list of the best places to live in London, and there are lots of other great neighbourhoods to check out, including Clerkenwell, Clapton, Finsbury Park, and Dalston. London has plenty to offer, whether you were born and bred there or are moving to London for the first time.