Unless you go shared ownership, are retiring or can pay in cash
I’ve just gone through every residential property listed on Zoopla and Rightmove that costs less than £100,000 within London.
(And bear in mind those websites’ boundaries for “London” are pretty generous.)
I’m afraid I’ve got some sorry news for those of you saving to get onto the property ladder.
If you want to go sole ownership, you cannot find a single “normal” residential property offering (studio upwards) that costs less than £100,000 in London.
There are a couple of properties that are available to cash buyers only, or are listed for auction, and a decent amount that are retirement apartments (complete with buyer age-restrictions).
There are also a few houseboats coming in at under £100,000.
But there are no sole ownership bricks-and-mortar homes currently listed on the UK’s two main property portals for less than £100,000.
(If you happen to be an estate agent who has a London home on your books for less than £100,000 and have decided not to list it on these sites, I’d love to hear from you @sophiehobson.)
This finding might not be that surprising, since the average house price in London is now more than £600,000, according to Rightmove figures from November.
But it’s also obviously disheartening for those looking to invest at the lower end of the scale in London.
Particularly as we’ve just learnt that the average first-time buyer in the UK bought their new home for £172,000 – meaning many will have a budget of much less than that.
Panicking? Here are some solutions
If you were hoping to invest in residential property in the capital worth around the £100,000 mark, or less, don’t give up just yet.
There are a good number of London homes listed for less than £100,000 offering buyers shared ownership.
Shared ownership, as the name suggests, allows you to buy a share in a property (from 25%-75%) with the other share owned usually by a housing association or local authority.
You then pay rent on the share owned by the housing association or local authority, as well as paying service charges and any other fees.
You take out a mortgage on the share you buy (assuming you need a mortgage).
If you’re set on sole ownership but feel like you’re miles off being able to afford in London, investigate the government’s Help To Buy scheme.
This lets you put down just 5% of the value of the home as a deposit, with the government guaranteeing the rest (where usually you’d have to have more like 20% ready in cash for a deposit).
The scheme is part of the reason that the number of first-time homebuyers in the UK hit a seven-year high in 2014.