It's no secret that house price rises in London have been enormous in recent years. In some boroughs, such as Hackney, the annual growth rate has at times been over 20%. A dearth in supply and intense demand from both first-time buyers and property investors have seen the average London house price hit £531,000 ($766,000) as of October 2015, according to the ONS.
To put that in context, the average house price for the UK overall, excluding London and the south east, is £217,000. Some homeowners have been tempted out of the city to cash in on their house price windfall and seek bigger, better properties.
But what if you enjoy city centre living and also want more space? Inevitably you have to compromise on space to live right in the heart of the action. So what exactly does the average London price buy you in the centre of the city – and what can it get you in other city centres? IBTimes UK looked through the property listings website Rightmove and here's what we found.
This first-floor flat is right in the heart of sought-after Clerkenwell, not too far from Angel Tube station, in a Grade II listed building. Nice though it is, at 518 sq ft all-in, it's tiny – just one bedroom, a poky kitchen you couldn't swing a stick blender in, very little living space, and of course no outside area to call your own. Which at £525,000, despite its location, is very, very expensive. And totally out of the question if you have a family.
This three-bedroom penthouse duplex apartment boasts 1,600 sq ft of space – which doesn't include the 900 sq ft roof terrace you also get – is a short walk from the station and bang in the city centre. The price? £500,000. So more than £30,000 below the London average and much more for your money.
This canal-side three-bedroom, three-floor townhouse is on the market at just below £500,000. It has a patio garden by the water, 1,471 sq ft of space, is in Birmingham city centre, and just down the road from New Street station – which gets you all over the country. And there's parking for two cars, as well as a garage.
This penthouse, in the centre of Leeds, has three bedrooms, a roof terrace with stunning views, a hot tub and sauna, nearly 1,000 sq ft of floorspace and a parking space. What more could you want for £475,000?
In this stunning Georgian-era building is an immaculate and spacious three-bedroom apartment with a private garden. It's right around the corner from Glasgow's Charing Cross station. Next door is Kelvingrove Park and the Royal Crescent. Price tag for a slice of the posh end of Glasgow? Offers over £465,000.
Another Georgian property, this time a four-bedroom townhouse in the centre of Liverpool, which is very similar in style and size to multimillion pound properties you find all over London. Half a mile away from the city's main station and with loads of space inside, it'll cost you just £500,000.
This Grade II listed period house, with all the features that entails, is in the heart of Newcastle, not far from the main train station, and is a steal at £325,000. Prices in some areas of Newcastle – Jesmond, in particular – aren't that far off London's. But this is a real gem. It has two double bedrooms and a basement that could easily be converted into a third, as well as off-street parking.
A grand five-bedroom terrace near to mainline rail connections and in Cardiff city centre. "Boasting fabulous views over Cardiff Wetlands towards Cardiff Bay and located only a short distance of the bars and restaurants of Mermaid Quay," says Rightmove. "This is a convenient yet tranquil location. Retaining most of its original features and charm, this property would make an ideal family home." All for a guide price of £470,000.
This two-bedroom warehouse conversion overlooks the water and has loads of character. "There are two generous reception rooms with exposed red brick walls and high vaulted ceilings and river views across to Castle Park," says the advert. "The drawing room offers a New York 'loft style' appearance with full glass elevation leading to a timber-decked balcony with river views." All yours, in the middle of Bristol, for £525,000.
As the advert puts it: "An exceptional Georgian top-floor flat situated in the heart of Edinburgh's historic New Town retaining many period features and with wonderful views over to Fife. Well-maintained communal stairwell, bright and inviting entrance hallway, grand sitting room with period fireplace, spacious sitting room with period fireplace, large master bedroom with en suite bathroom, two further double bedrooms, breakfasting kitchen, family shower room. Gas central heating. Exceptional views. B-Listed Georgian architecture. On-street permit parking." Offers over £470,000.
A country house maybe...
Perhaps you don't want to live in the middle of a city after all. And if you can spare an extra £4,000 on top of the average London price, you can have Harecroft Hall. It is a grand late-Victorian country house with no fewer than 13 bedrooms, set in 12 acres of woodland, near to the coast and in the Lake District, with its own coach house, a grass tennis court, and much more. But there is a catch: the property requires renovation and even the estate agent says the project "is certainly not for the faint-hearted". "This lovely property was previously used as a private school and is now ready to begin a new chapter in its history as a family home or a possible commercial venture," says the advert. And all at a guide price of £535,000.