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Borough Market in London

Real Estate in London

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 04, 2023

Summary: The most desirable neighborhoods in London, UK are typically located in the central areas of the city such as Kensington and Chelsea, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Marylebone, and Islington. The average cost to buy a nice 2 bedroom home in London is around $1.5 million USD, while a nice 3 bedroom home can cost around $2.5 million USD. These properties typically include modern amenities such as high-end appliances, marble countertops, and hardwood floors. Foreign ownership of properties in London is generally unrestricted, however, there are certain restrictions in place for certain types of properties. For example, foreign buyers are not allowed to purchase properties that are listed as “protected” or “listed”. An expat looking to buy a home in London should start by researching the different neighborhoods and areas of the city to find the one that best suits their needs. They should also research the local market to get an idea of the average prices for properties in the area. Additionally, they should consider working with a real estate agent who is familiar with the local market and can help them find the perfect property.

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How do I find a place to live in London?

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

"Finding a place to live in London can be a daunting task. You should start your search by researching the different areas in London so you can decide which one is right for you. Consider what your needs are, such as nearby amenities, transport links, and proximity to work or school. You should also research the different types of accommodation available, such as renting, shared housing, housing associations, or buying. Once you’ve established the type of accommodation that’s right for you, it’s time to start searching. You can look online - there are lots of websites that list properties - or use a local letting/estate agent. Open viewing days are a good way to view lots of properties at once, and to get a better feel for the area. Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider getting professional help from a specialist London estate agent," explained one expat living in London, UK.

"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," said another person in London.

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

"Typical expat homes and apartments in London range in size and style depending on the budget and preferences of the individual or family. Generally, apartments located in the city center tend to be smaller with fewer or no amenities than those located in the suburban areas. They often come fully furnished, with the basic white goods and appliances. Many buildings have high security, with secure entry systems, CCTV cameras, and residents usually have access to a communal garden or patio. On-street parking can be limited, with some residences offering off-street parking as well as storage facilities," added another expat who made the move to London.

"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," explained one foreigner living in London, UK.

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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?

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

"The cost of housing in London varies depending on the area and type of property. Generally, rental prices in the city tend to be higher than the UK average and can range from around £1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a cheaper area, to over £4,000 a month for a luxury apartment in a more affluent neighbourhood," added another expat who made the move to London.

"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," explained one foreigner living in London, UK.

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Should I buy or rent a home in London?

If you have not spent a lot of time in London, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Buying a home in London can be a very expensive long-term investment, so it is important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. Buying might be a good option if you are looking for stability and want to call a place 'home'. Plus, it can be a financially sound decision if you plan to stay in the same place for several years and can get a good mortgage rate. On the other hand, renting a home in London may offer more flexibility, lower upfront costs and less responsibility. Renting can also be a great option if you are only in the city for a short period of time, or if you would like to test out an area before committing to buying," said another person in London.

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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.

Borough Market in London

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