Whether you love art, music, or food, or just want to get a job in your chosen field, London is one of the best places in the world.

But the capital is also expensive. The streets aren’t actually paved with gold, but you wouldn’t know it for the rental prices – which are double the English average – or house prices, which have risen by 3.9% in the past 12 months.

London is a big city though, and still offers some wonderful, affordable places to live that’ll let you spread your wings without worrying about your mortgage or rent payments clipping them.

We’ve used the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) rental price data and Land Registry house price statistics to calculate how different areas of London compare – and below, we’ve ranked the seven cheapest boroughs in the capital.

The Cheapest Places to Live in London:

1. Barking and Dagenham
2. Bexley
3. Sutton
4. Havering
5. Croydon
6. Enfield
7. Hillingdon

1. Barking and Dagenham

Average rentAverage house price
£1,200£308,583

This East London borough is just nine miles from the centre of the city, and home to the lowest average house price in the capital.

Barking and Dagenham properties still cost £46,000 more than the English average, and renting is 66% more expensive than the average, so you’ll lose £5,700 more per year compared to the typical English renter – but it may be worth it for those London wages.

This is especially true when you consider you can get to the centre of London in less than an hour from Barking station, which is in the cheaper-than-some Zone 4 and offers access to the Hammersmith & City and District lines, as well as the Overground.

You’ll also join a tight-knit community that’s much younger and more diverse than it used to be, with the ethnic minority population rising by 42% in the most recent census.

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2. Bexley

Average rentAverage house price
£1,100£344,254

On the southern side of the river, neighbouring Bexley’s average rental price can’t be beaten by any other borough – so if you’re looking to rent in London, this is an ideal place for you.

The area also boasts the capital’s second-cheapest average house price, alongside its relatively low crime rate – which it shares with Barking and Dagenham – and collection of more than 100 parks and green spaces.

And it doesn’t hurt that a pint of beer in Bexleyheath, one of the borough’s main hubs, costs £3.03 on average, which is considerably less than the average £5.19 London pint.

Bexley is one of London's greenest (and cheapest) boroughs

3. Sutton

Average rentAverage house price
£1,100£385,190

Going from east to south London, Sutton has the joint-cheapest average rent price, along with Bexley.

The borough is also the second-best for English and Maths GCSE results, with 67% of pupils achieving a mark of 5 (a strong pass) or higher.

Sutton is eco-friendly too, having declared a climate emergency in July 2019, and has pledged to become carbon neutral.

It’s also a beautiful area of London. You can take in the mock Tudor surroundings of Cheam, or actual Tudor era Nonsuch Park, which used to surround Henry VIII’s palace and is now simply a lovely place to go for a walk.

4. Havering

Average rentAverage house price
£1,150£371,260

House prices are slightly cheaper in Havering, a borough which borders Bexley and Barking and Dagenham.

London’s most eastern borough contains large swathes of countryside and parkland, which allows residents to enjoy many free activities.

You can see wild deer frolic in Bedfords Park, visit the historically important village of Havering-atte-Bower – which dates back to at least the Anglo-Saxon era – or wander through hundreds of stalls at the 770-year-old Romford Market.

Maybe this more relaxed lifestyle is why Havering has the fourth-highest life satisfaction of any London borough, according to ONS data.

a london street

There are plenty of beautiful, reasonably priced places in London

5. Croydon

Average rentAverage house price
£1,129£385,488

Croydon’s 386,000 inhabitants have the lowest anxiety levels of any London borough, according to the ONS – and little wonder.

As well as relatively cheap rental and house prices, you can buy a pint of beer for £1.99, on average – and if you need to escape the city, you’re within a stone’s throw of the sprawling green spaces outside London.

The borough is ambitious, too. Croydon has been attempting for years to become London’s third official city (after Westminster and the City of London), and its current £3.5 billion regeneration scheme should go a long way to convincing the authorities.

The initiative is set to provide new offices, shops, and homes, as well as facilities for young residents and disabled people.

6. Enfield

Average rentAverage house price
£1,265£403,170

The only northern entrant on this list is also London’s northernmost borough, but don’t worry – the area’s transport links mean you’re always an hour from the city centre.

You can live in Transport for London’s Zone 5 – which ensures cheaper tube fares than some boroughs on this list – while still enjoying access to a load of green spaces, including the stunning Forty Hall estate and Hilly Fields Park.

The borough is home to vibrant Turkish and Greek communities, particularly in Southgate, where you can delight in independent restaurants and cafes without the typically extreme London prices.

The Forty Hall Estate is 260 acres of gorgeous parkland

7. Hillingdon

Average rentAverage house price
£1,250£419,162

Hillingdon carves a path down London’s western edge, with Brunel University, Ruislip Lido’s sandy beaches, and Heathrow Airport all absorbed into the capital’s second-biggest borough.

The region, which offers some of the cheapest property prices in London, also contains the Grand Union Canal, Manor Farm, and Ruislip Woods.

This gorgeous 726-acre national nature reserve holds events like a £2 guided bat walk, and an annual festival featuring attractions including birds of prey and lumberjack sports team the Welsh Axemen.

You’ll also typically pay less in Hillingdon establishments than you will in most of London – for instance, a pint of beer will only set you back around £2.