Expat Exchange
Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood
Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood
Berwick Street in London's Soho Neighborhood

Real Estate in London

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees offer advice about how to decide where to live in London, how to search for a flat, the cost of housing and more. With London's extremely high cost of living, foreigners living in London debate whether to buy or rent a flat and whether or not to live in Central London. Tip: consider your commute time, public transportation and proximity to schools when deciding what area to search for a home.

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Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

How do I find a place to live in London?

Live in London? Answer this Question

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I have moved several times since first moving to London. I now live near Marble Arch, which is very central (right next to Hyde Park and to Oxford Street). I've used Loot several times. More recently, I've been using London Property Watch," explained one expat living in London, UK.

"I used a relocation specialist and I live in central London. My flat is really nice, pricey, but the location is ideal and I am happy with the amount of space. I also have a dog and I wanted to be close to one of the major parks. I tried for three days on my own and got nowhere. The relocation specialist made a huge difference," said another person in London.

"Chose the area based on reasonable drive to work (30-40 min) and close to London (20 min by train). Found my 1st flat in the area by using a relo service that my company employed. Later moved by finding a place on my own - visited every estate agent repeatedly, some of them a few times a week, for a few months straight. Finally one of them called me to arrange a viewing. Nothing I viewed was on offer on a window advert," added another expat who made the move to London.

"Looked at map, found most convenient place for public transportation. Checked the neighborhood in a short weekend vacation before. Rented house with help of internet and let someone from the company check it out," explained one foreigner living in London, UK.

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in UK. If you're moving to UK, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in UK.
Homelike RentalsFurnished Rentals in UK from Homelike

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in UK. If you're moving to UK, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in UK.
SEARCH RENTALS

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in London?

Live in London? Answer this Question

"I live in a flat, which is typical for the vast majority of expats who live in central London. I have also juts purchased a house, however it is in Zone 3, maybe 7 miles south of central London, where house prices are still somewhat affordable. The majority of expats however live in central London, and only the hedge fund manager and investment bankers among them can afford to buy property in central London," remarked another foreigner who made the move to London.

"I am getting a housing subsidy from work to make up for the increase in cost of living. Had this not been the case, I probably could not afford the flat I am in now," explained one person living in London, UK.

"I eventually bought a flat. Most expats in my area rent or buy a flat, depending on length of stay. Those I know with children usually start by renting a house," said another expat in London.

"Live in traditional terraced house. Some expats prefer city of London for living. I prefer suburb like now, living with the locals. Much more space for the money," remarked another member in London.

Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in UK. If you're moving to UK, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in UK.

SEARCH RENTALS

Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in UK. If you're moving to UK, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in UK.

SEARCH RENTALS

What is the average cost of housing in London?

Live in London? Answer this Question

If you are thinking about moving to London, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Housing costs are definitely higher here, significantly so. To rent a 2-bed apartment in a central location, you have to count with at least £400 per week," said another person in London.

"I left the US 14 years ago, so it's hard to say. But, I'd estimate that when I moved to this area, I paid about 75% more in rent than I had been doing in the US," remarked another foreigner who made the move to London.

"Much higher than Frankfurt Germany small house costs 1500$ excluding expenses 20 min by train from city (and that's a bargain! don't ask me where I live). Houses built like **** but everywhere the same, miss German quality very much," explained one person living in London, UK.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Expats LondonLondon Guide

Expats, digital nomads & retirees talk about what it's like living in London.

UK Index London Index
An index of all of our site's London information.

Digital Nomad Life London Living in London

More about what it's like living in London.

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Here's a guide to the best neighborhoods in London. There are a lot of options for a lot of different situations. We'll be adding new neighborhoods and updating it regularly.

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Families moving to London who are interested in an American curriculum, IB program or bi-lingual education for their children, may be interested in these popular expat schools.

UK Forum UK Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in UK on our UK forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Contribute to UK Network Contribute
Help others in UK by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in UK.

Expat Healthcare Advice in UKHealthcare & Health Insurance in UK

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