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Sunday 22 September 2013
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Find your perfect London home with help of new online tool

Home hunters seeking an affordable home in London may have a greater chance of success following the launch of a London Borough Comparison Tool by NatWest.
The tool, which can be found on the NatWest website and is free for anyone to use, provides a wide range of information about the different London boroughs, enabling homebuyers to identify the right area to start searching.

In addition to comparing property costs, the tool also ranks each borough by a number of “living experience” indicators - including crime rates, exam results, travel costs, council tax rates and parking permit prices.

It shows that house prices in Kensington & Chelsea are both the highest and have seen the greatest change during the last three years.

More surprisingly, house prices fell during the same time period in Newham, despite the borough hosting the 2012 Olympics and the new Westfield shopping centre. The average semi detached house costs £249,637. Newham motorists also enjoy the cheapest parking rates in the capital.

Most affordable homes
But the most affordable homes can be found in Barking and Dagenham, where property prices have fallen 4.15% over three years and the average semi detached house costs £213,389.

Bexley has the lowest crime rate of any London borough, but parents who are concerned that their children get the best academic start should head to Sutton – students in the South London borough get more A grades at GCSE than those elsewhere.

For those concerned about their ongoing finances after they have bought a home, Westminster could be the answer – it not only charges the lowest rate of council tax (in the country as well as London), it also has the highest number of NatWest branches. The second lowest council tax in the country is charged by Wandsworth, in south London.

Helpful banking
Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages at RBS and NatWest, said: “At NatWest, everything we do is about helpful banking and making life easier for our customers. This new tool does exactly that – providing plenty of interesting insight on living in London and helping users work out which borough is the one for them.

NatWest is committed to helping more people in the UK move into a home of their own and the bank says yes to 9 out of 10 mortgage applications (based on an average of accepted applications over a 15 month rolling period, excluding Buy to Let).

Earlier this year, NatWest launched its “NatYes” campaign, highlighting the range of competitive mortgage packages available for customers.

(source : NatWest)