London boroughs: Bromley’s lively homes market bucks slow sales trend


ouse hunters seeking space and value during the pandemic have created a new heatmap of buying and selling across the capital. Some are leafily suburban west London villages, others are good value locations at the fringes of the city but the most active market in London since the start of 2020 has been in Bromley, on the borders of Kent.

More than 11,000 homes have changed hands over the past 27 months according to new research published today. And, in the past year alone, prices have jumped 8.7 per cent to an average of £508,000.

“The majority of our buyers have been moving out of places like Clapham and Dulwich,” said Mar Atterano of Winkworth in Beckenham, which is in the north of the borough. “They were not ready to make the big move out to the countryside or the coast but Beckenham, with its green space, good transport links, and good schools, was the perfect compromise.”

Sellers, having made the step out of central London already, were heading off to the Kent or Sussex countryside or coast, said Atterano.


At the other end of the scale the slowest market in London – and indeed across the country – has been Newham (average price: £415,000). Despite its supply of new build flats as well as resale homes just 4,450 sales were made in the same period. This represents just under 13 sales per 1,000 residents, because few buyers were interested in an urban flat during lockdown.

The activity of London’s market pales in comparison to the rest of England, where an average of almost 47 homes have been sold per 1,000 people according to the study by Barrows and Forrester estate agents.

London’s liveliest markets are dominated by a clutch of affluent south west London urban villages in Wandsworth, Richmond, Kingston, Merton, all of which make the top ten. Wandsworth has seen average prices jump more than eight per cent since 2021, to an average of £639,000.

They are joined by affordable outlying boroughs. Alongside Bromley, Havering, on the borders of Essex and with three new Crossrail stations to its name, Sutton, on the south west edge of the capital and Bexley, to the east, all make the top ten.

Hammersmith and Fulham and the City also make the top ten, although the tiny population of the square mile (some 9,000) skews the figures. With office workers staying away only 300 homes were sold in the City in more than two years, out of a total of more than 200,000 across London.

Atterano believes that Bexley has the potential to ride out the cost of living crisis and – possibly – a recession, because of its relatively low prices. A three bedroom family house in Beckenham would cost around £650,000 to £850,000.

“During the pandemic Beckenham has really established itself on the greater London property map,” he said. “So many people have moved here and told their friends how lovely it is and that that word of mouth has really, really built up.”

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