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London property investment guide for 2024
Table of Contents:

London property investment guide for 2024

Considering investing in London's property market? London is a global hub for business and an excellent choice for property investment. Here's why:

- The typical rent in London is £2,049 a month.

- In 2023, London saw its highest rent increase since records started in 2006, with a 6.8% rise in private rentals.

- Halifax, a major mortgage lender, predicts house prices could drop by 2 to 4% in 2024, making it a prime time to buy.

- Though London is known for its high living costs, the investment is truly worthwhile. 

For the best advice on smart property investment in London, check out our expert guide to navigating the capital's real estate market.



Getting a mortgage.

In the UK, when you borrow money to buy a house, it's called a mortgage, not a loan. The great part is, that you can get a mortgage from UK banks with just 5% of the home's total price as your own contribution. Keep in mind, though, that the smaller your down payment, the higher your interest rate might be. You can figure out your rates with tools like the one HSBC offers. If comparing banks sounds like a hassle, consider using a mortgage broker. Just remember, banks will look at your age, income, how much you're contributing, the length of the mortgage (usually 25 years), your financial history, and whether you're applying solo or with someone else to decide if they'll lend to you.

Is it worth hiring a conveyancer?

When buying property in London, it's smart to work with a legal expert known as a conveyancer. They'll be your guide through the complexities of English property law, offering all the legal advice you need, conducting property searches, and preparing the sales contract. Good to know, that the seller's solicitors can do this for you, which might save some money.

Tax payments for London property investments

When purchasing a property in London, you might need to pay a couple of taxes based on your buying circumstances:

- Value-Added Tax (VAT): If you're buying through a qualifying limited company, a 20% VAT rate applies to your purchase in London.

- Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT): This tax kicks in for properties priced over £250,000. Given London's average property price hovers around £700,000, you'll need to budget for stamp duty.

This tax is applied in bands:

Purchase price


Up to £125,000.00


From £125,000.00 to £250,000.00


From £250,001.00 to £925,000.00


From £925,001.00 to £1.5 million


Above £1.5 million


Rental income tax for London properties

Rental income tax applies to everyone, including those not living in the UK most of the year. If you're a landlord who spends over six months annually outside the UK, you're considered a non-resident landlord. Here’s how the tax rate on your rental income is calculated:

Annual rent amount

Tax on rental income

Up to £12,570.00


From £12,571.00 to £50,270.00


From £50,271.00 to £150,000.00


Over £150,000.00



Finding a property in London

Here's how you can start your search:

1) Consult with a real estate agent/property management company. 

At Smarthost we can guide buyers through London's property market, offering access to exclusive listings and personalized advice to make your search easier and more effective.

2) Explore property channels like Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation etc.

These websites have hundreds of rental listings in all parts of London.

3) Check out auction sales

Every year, thousands of properties are auctioned across the UK. Buying a property in London at auction is entirely possible. To find out what properties are being auctioned in the English capital, there are several options:

  • Visit the EIG (Essential Information Group) website
  • Subscribe to Property Auction News magazine
  • Subscribe to the London auction house mailing lists

Some known auctioneers:

  • Barnard Marcus Auction House
  • Auction House London
  • Southgate Auction Rooms

If you want to make sure you don’t invest in a ruin, you can hire a Surveyor. Their role is to provide you with a full report on the property you wish to buy:

  1. Building defects
  2. Assessment of the value of the house
  3. Evaluation of the cost of reconstruction (for insurance purposes)
  4. Work to be carried out

Choosing the right spot for property investment in London

London is huge, bigger than New York, way bigger than Paris, and almost twice as big as Berlin.  In such a colossal city, selecting the right spot for your investment, particularly for seasonal rentals like Airbnb, becomes crucial for ensuring profitability.

According to Smarthost’s research, the best areas to invest in London are:

1. Camden

Perfect for Airbnb rentals, Camden is the area to invest in the English capital. All amenities are immediately on your doorstep. Its market is the fourth most popular tourist attraction in the city.
Crossed by the canal, Camden is a lively area, in which its streets welcome Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Spanish, English or Vietnamese cooks.

2. Southwark

Southwark is perhaps the best option if you’re looking to buy property in central London in 2024. In fact, Southwark offers the best value out of all of London’s central zones, with prices falling around 2.5% in the past year.

The average buy price in Southwark is currently £513,900. Considering that Southwark is in Zone One, it represents good value for money for anyone looking for a central London base.

Should you buy in Southwark, you will be within walking distance of some of London’s biggest attractions, including the West End and some of the capital’s best dining and drinking spots.

3. Battersea

Good for property investment in general, whether short or long-term, Battersea is renowned for a beautiful park alongside the Thames and iconic shopping mall - Battersea Power Station. Between its ultra-modern housing and Victorian buildings, Battersea is a link between the past and the future.

4. Westminster

Do we need to introduce this area, home to the Palace of Westminster and the Cathedral? The historic centre of London, Westminster is undoubtedly an outstanding investment location. Perfect for seasonal Airbnb rentals, your flat will not be empty all year round. In the heart of British politics, owning a property in the Westminster district is a sign of financial power beyond compare.

5. ​​Canary Wharf 

This area stands out as a prime investment location in London, particularly for those considering short let opportunities like Airbnb. This bustling financial district is not just a hub for global commerce but also a thriving residential area, offering a unique blend of modern living spaces amidst skyscrapers and waterways. 


Is it worth buying a property in London?

Over the last year, rising interest and mortgage rates have led to a decrease in UK house prices, including in London, where they fell by an average of 1.5% by the end of 2023. It's expected that prices might dip a bit more throughout 2024. But, the future looks bright for those planning to buy in 2024. After an anticipated 4% drop in prices across London, the value of an average home in the capital is expected to increase by £70,376 by 2027. This makes buying a property in London a wise choice for anyone looking to invest.

Is it a good time to invest in London property?

Absolutely. If you're in a position to invest in London's real estate market, now couldn't be a better time. 2024 is an excellent year for buyers, with house prices expected to dip by up to 4%. 

Moreover, certain boroughs offer fantastic value. Camden stands out as a top pick for 2024, boasting great transport connections, affordable average purchase prices, and new developments in the area. For those looking to be in the heart of the city, Southwark presents an attractive central option, with prices comparable to those in Bromley, situated in Zone 5. So, if you're ready to invest, 2024 is the prime time to dive into London's property market.


Investing with Smarthost in London

Investing in property abroad can be worrisome. You might wonder about managing short-term rentals,  and think you need to be there or have someone reliable in London to manage everything. But, there's a solution.

With Smarthost, investing in London becomes worry-free. You don't need to fly over to look after your property because we handle it all:

Smarthost makes investing in London's property market easy. We're the reliable partner you've been looking for.

Thinking about purchasing property in London? Reach out to us.

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