Buying in London: the 10 most affordable boroughs for homebuyers in 2023

Croydon, where the median value of a house is £415,245 (Daniel Lynch)
Croydon, where the median value of a house is £415,245 (Daniel Lynch)

Croydon is the most affordable area of London to buy a home in 2023, according to a new Zoopla report.

The south London borough has knocked Barking and Dagenham off the top spot in the affordability rankings for the first time in three years.

Zoopla's analysis calculated affordability by using a house price-to-earnings ratio, comparing estimates for median property prices in each area to the average salary of a two-earner household.

Croydon had a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.02, meaning it would cost potential buyers just over five times their combined annual income to afford the average home in the area.

Zoopla said a large stock of two-bedroom flats in Croydon had helped the area become an option for buyers whose budgets have been constrained by interest hikes.

The median value for a home in Croydon was £415,245, calculated Zoopla, while the annual income of two people earning an average salary in that area would be £82,700.With its comparative affordability, Croydon has become an attractive prospect for London's first-time buyers reports Carrie Rudge, branch partner of Croydon Barnard Marcus.

“In spite of obstacles in the market, this hasn’t slowed the market down in Croydon at all," Rudge told Homes & Property.

"In fact, we’ve seen more exchanges compared with this time last year. In our first two months of this year, 70 per cent of our sales were all flats showing that the first time buyer market was still very strong, if not stronger, than last year."

Top 10 most affordable London boroughs in 2023


Most common

property type

Median value

of a home

(Oct 2023)

Annual income

for two earners

(September 2023)


ratio for two earners

in 2023


2 bed flat





2 bed flat




Tower Hamlets

2 bed flat




Barking & Dagengham

3 bed terraced house





3 bed semi-detached house





3 bed semi-detached house





2 bed flat





3 bed terraced house





3 bed semi-detached house





3 bed terraced house




In a separate report, Zoopla previously found that house prices are down 3 per cent in Croydon this year – the biggest fall of any London borough.

But Rudge reported that "many of our properties are still achieving asking price or above".

Greenwich was named the second most affordable place to buy in London, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.14.

The median value of a home was pricier at £441,410, but earnings were also higher at £86,000 for two people combining their earning power.

In third place was Tower Hamlets – one of only two inner city parts of London to make the top affordable places to buy, along with Newham at tenth place.

With a median home value of £478,580 and an average two-person salary of £91,000, getting on the property ladder would require 5.26 times a couple’s annual income.

Now down at fourth place, Barking and Dagenham had a price-to-earnings ratio of 5.28.

London remains less affordable than the national average. With the average British home valued at £276,000, the average two-earner household would expect to pay four times their combined annual income to buy their own home.

“High mortgage rates have meant it’s been a difficult year for would-be buyers, so affordability has remained a hot topic,” said Izabella Lubowiecka, senior property researcher at Zoopla.

Although the Bank of England has now held the base rate at 5.25 per cent, 14 consecutive interest rate rises have seen mortgage costs spike. Although London house prices are falling for the first time in years, high mortgage rates have constrained anyone who cannot afford to buy outright.

High house prices have made buying a home notoriously hard for the single buyer, with over two thirds of first-time buyers now buying jointly, according to Halifax.

Across the UK, Zoopla estimated that Scotland was by far the most affordable place to buy in 2023, with eight out of the top ten most affordable locations found north of the border.

In Cumnock, a Scottish town in East Ayrshire, the median home was valued at £79,030 and two people’s income at £75,665 – making the price-to-earnings ratio just 1.04.

Shildon, in the north east of England, was the second most affordable, with a price-to-earnings ratio of 1.06.

On the less affordable side of the scale, Radlett in Hertfordshire had an eyewatering price-to-earnings ratio of 11.36 thanks to a median home value of £885,180 compared to an average annual income for two of £77,928.

Housing affordability has declined in every local authority over the past 25 years, especially in London, according to the latest report on housing affordability from the Office for National Statistics.