Cheapest Houses In The UK – Buy For £20k To £25K

cheapest houses in the uk

Are you considering purchasing a home in the UK without spending a fortune? Well, here is some positive news. Numerous budget-friendly houses are currently available,

Moreover, the cheapest houses in the UK have prices ranging from £20k to £25k.

Cheap Houses In UK For Sale

Some Effective Initial Strategies

  • Find areas in the UK where homes are sold for a low price per square foot using; look for under £50 per square foot.
  • Use Google Street View to look for properties that may be empty and/or are in poor condition.
  • Pull the title register of that property from the land registry.
  • Write a letter to the property owner showing interest in purchasing the property.

Buy Abandoned Property UK – Middlesbrough Study

So, that is the strategy in short form, but what other tactics can you use to find a cheap house for sale UK?

Recent movements in property values and the return to the illiquid property market.

Now, interest rates have increased to more typical historical levels, and many property bull “gamblers” have fallen out of love with UK real estate.

People have realised that piling into UK properties with lots of leverage does not work anymore.

However, this should be seen as an opportunity for the savvy buyer. The best bargain house for under £25000 will likely come from a landlord who has given up on tenants who are too much trouble.

Unfortunately, once a house gets as far as Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket or Prime Location via a traditional sales process or a recently more fashionable auction process, the properties’ exposure is so intense they likely become overpriced.

You can pick up bargains at auction, but there are a lot of additional costs for the buyer and massive other risks.
Those who bid at auction can often be experienced cash-rich developers and property flippers.

Buying a home for less than £20000 is a good deal for many people, but it will involve a lot of legwork on your part, likely both computer-based and walking the streets of the area you are interested in.

The best way to get a cheap home is to buy one not currently up for sale. This is known as off-market property.

Talk to people in the area you are interested in.

Local people, especially those who own a home, are interested in improving the area. They don’t want boarded-up properties on their street or rented properties with bad tenants.

Abandoned mattresses and other rubbish left on the street can be an excellent buy signal for an investor but will likely be hated by residents.

Asking people if properties are empty or if they have tenants who might be moving soon will give you an excellent opportunity to find bargains. Residents may have seen police cars frequently turn up, a perfect sign of bad tenants with weary landlords.

Find a local pub and look for tradespeople. Get ready to spend some money or beers and ask them about local property owners they may have done work for.

Chat with bar staff, show appreciation and leave generous tips; you might find they are a great source of information about local property owners.

All you need is the addresses of properties that you may be able to buy.

The Current State of the UK’s Affordable Housing Market

Below is a comprehensive table highlighting data and trends in the UK’s affordable housing market. These include factors such as property prices, supply and demand, government initiatives, and the impact of the housing crisis on affordability.

Property PricesThe average property prices across the UK have steadily increased, making it more challenging for individuals and families to find affordable housing options.
Supply and DemandA significant gap exists between the demand for affordable housing and the supply available. This shortage puts upward pressure on prices and reduces the availability of affordable options.
Government InitiativesThe UK government has implemented various initiatives to address the affordable housing crisis, such as affordable rent schemes, shared ownership programs, and support for first-time buyers. These initiatives aim to increase the supply of affordable homes and improve accessibility for buyers.
Housing Crisis ImpactThe housing crisis has contributed to the affordability challenges in the UK. Factors such as rising population, limited land availability, and lack of construction contribute to the high demand and low affordability of housing.

As seen in the table, the current state of the UK’s affordable housing market is influenced by various factors. While the government is taking steps to alleviate the crisis, the demand for affordable housing continues to outstrip supply, driving property prices higher.

Cheapest Houses In The UK: Uncovering The Best Deals

Despite factors relating to supply and demand, our research has identified several key regions that consistently offer affordable housing options. These areas combine low property prices with desirable qualities, making them attractive for first-time buyers, investors, and those looking to downsize.

One of the most affordable regions in the UK, the North East boasts charming towns and picturesque countryside. The average property price in this area is significantly lower than the national average, presenting excellent opportunities for budget-conscious buyers.

Home to vibrant cities like Leeds, Sheffield, and York, this region offers a mix of urban amenities and stunning rural landscapes. The housing market here is relatively affordable, with various property types to suit different budgets.

The East Midlands’ central location provides easy access to other parts of the UK. This region offers affordable houses and apartments, particularly in Nottingham, Leicester, and Derby.

Known for its breathtaking coastline and stunning national parks, Wales is an attractive destination for nature lovers. The property prices in Wales, especially in areas like Rhondda Cynon Taf and Blaenau Gwent, are below the national average, making it an excellent choice for those seeking affordable homes.

From Glasgow’s bustling streets to Edinburgh’s historic charm, Scotland offers diverse, affordable housing options. The average property prices in Scotland are generally lower than the rest of the UK, particularly in areas like North Ayrshire and Inverclyde.

Buyers can uncover some of the best deals on houses in the UK by focusing on these regions. It’s important to note that while these areas may have lower property prices, they still offer excellent amenities, transport links, and a high quality of life.

online property tools

Use online tools and public records

Even though you are not likely to find a bargain on Rightmove or Zoopla, they are a fantastic source of information about properties and their prices and sale histories.

Even looking at pictures of a property listing what it was like in 2017 or earlier could prove helpful.

Google Earth, Google Maps, and Street View are potent tools to minimise your travelling and time spent physically in the area you are interested in.

Just googling the address of a property you might be interested in may bring up some interesting and relevant information.

When you have postcodes you are interested in, you can look up the property on the council tax website:


Local Authority: Durham County
Local authority reference number: EA0376980
Council Tax band: Deleted
Improvement indicator: No
With effect from 28 February 2018
Mixed-use property: No
Court code: None

This property has had its council tax band deleted. If you go to Google Street View, you will see why the council has allowed it to be de-registered. It is not suitable to live in.

However, not all properties that have deleted the council tax band may need much money spent on them.

If you are doing a heavy refurbishment in the form of new kitchens and bathrooms and substantial amounts of decoration throughout, missing bathrooms, kitchens, and even windows are irrelevant.

Removing the burden of a property council tax bill has everything to do with meeting criteria, not necessarily a sign of massive repair costs.

Your best strategy could be to do a desk-based study of existing properties that have had their council tax deleted.

Set up property alerts for cheap houses County Durham and other areas

Many property listing websites offer a feature that allows you to set up alerts for new listings that match your criteria.

By subscribing to these alerts, you can be notified when a low-cost house meeting your requirements becomes available, giving you an edge in the competitive market.

Buy a property from someone who is not tech-savvy or an older person

A property-savvy owner or investor will know roughly what properties are worth in areas they know. You could ask them what property’s worth in a reasonable part of Leeds. They will say about £250 a sq. ft., just off the top of their heads.

So much information is available online or in public records that it’s easy to determine what a home is worth.

However, people who do not use or understand property websites may be willing to sell their homes for a lower amount, especially if they are not in excellent condition.

Buying an off-market property is the opportunity to keep the seller away from price-pumping commission-collecting agents while making the seller think they are getting a good deal as they get to save the money that they would have paid to an agent. That isn’t necessarily the case.

land registry benefits

Get familiar with the Land Registry Online to buy a cheap house

Once you have a list of addresses, you can start pulling property titles to find the owners of the property. This costs £3 for the title and £3 for the plan (map).

The title will show the name(s) of the owner(s), their postal address(es) and even, in some cases, an email address.

When the existing owner of the property purchased the property, their solicitors would have asked them if they were going to live there themselves or if they were going to continue to live at the property that they had proved to the solicitor was their current address.

It is wise to keep the land registry current if you are a landlord and do not live at the property, but not many people do.

The title PDF document will also show details of any covenants, ties, cautions, charges, or debts attached to the property.

Finding a property with second and third charge lenders on it, a subprime-related 1st mortgage lender, or charges for unpaid management fees or council tax may indicate stress.

This could provide further opportunities for an excellent, low-cost, quick purchase. Even if you must buy indemnity insurance to protect yourself against future problems and investigations into the seller, this still can be well worth the cost.

distressed house

I have the PDF title document and know the owner; what do I do next in my search for cheap houses to buy?

You have to contact the owner and see if they are interested in selling the property. This could involve writing a letter to them and posting it or even going to their home, tapping the door, and introducing yourself.

If you go to their home, stand away from the door and be polite and respectful. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, so dress smartly but not too formally and try to build trust. People want to do business with people they like.

If you write a letter, put your home address and email address and sign it yourself, but avoid making it too formal or corporate-looking.
Finding a home below market price may take many attempts to find a seller that fits your needs and budget.

The advantage is you have time to do your due diligence and work out the costs of renovations and repairs that might be necessary. When you buy at auction, the opportunity to make enquiries and have multiple viewings is minimal.

It’s wise to know exactly what houses in that area have sold for recently and their condition. If you buy a property needing work, you have to cover the costs and still buy at a discount.

If you can do renovation work over time and don’t mind living in a home with issues, this could help you get what you want sooner and save you rent or a large mortgage payment on a previous property.

unlendable property factors

Areas where you may be able to buy a property for under £25,000 in 2024

Run down property for sale UK

A small 2-bed terrace house is around 700 sq. ft. The cheapest property areas UK are known for having reasonably sized homes.

Here is a real-life example of a property sale at £37 a square foot:

58 Cameron Road
TS24 8DL
Sold for £25,000 on the 13th of September 2024, and the property size is believed to be 667 sq. ft.

This is data from the land registry, where many examples of property under 20k exist. Hartlepool is an excellent example of where to buy cheap house in UK.

Zoopla says the property is worth £54,000 with a medium confidence level but has no listing history and offers no insight into the property’s condition.

It could have been sold privately due to someone tapping the door or writing letters. It previously changed hands in January 1997. It’s very likely an example of unmortgageable houses for sale.

It would be best to be slightly cautious of areas where the wages are poor.

It costs a similar amount of money to maintain a house in a poor area as it does in an affluent area, so you may find in areas where wages are meagre, people do not have the money to maintain their homes properly.

In some areas, the total council tax, gas, electricity, and water bills can be close to the property’s rent. A cheap two-bedroomed house up north can sometimes be rented for as little as £450 a month.

Based on data from the HouseMetric website, here are some postcodes where the cost per square foot is often less than £100:

Cheap House Areas UK Postcodes – The Best Value Houses in UK

Blackpool, FY1
Blackpool FY4
Frizington CA26
Peterlee SR8
Barrow in Furness LA14
Wingate TS28
Bishop Auckland DL14
Tyne and Wear NE32
Sunderland, SR2
Scunthorpe, DN15
Stockton-on-Tees TS17

Stockton-on-Tees TS18
Stoke-on-Trent ST6 – cheap houses for sale Stoke-On-Trent
Stoke-on-Trent ST4
Sheffield S9
Barnsley S74 – cheap houses for sale in Barnsley
Doncaster DN12 – cheap houses for sale Doncaster
Northumberland Blythe
Barnsley S74
Hartlepool TS20
Hartlepool TS24
Hartlepool TS25 – cheapest house in UK

More cheapest house prices UK for 2024

Lancashire Burnley BB12
North Shields
Keithley BD21
Hull HU5
Middlesbrough TS3

Source of data: HouseMetric

Cheap Houses For Sale Up North

Many cheap homes for sale up north are boarded up as they are houses that need work.

Abandoned Property For Sale North East

A boarded up house is likely boarded up because it is prohibitively expensive to renovate. So, if you have the time and the skills to do renovation work yourself, houses under 20k could be a good option for you.

Common to these areas are house prices primarily dictated by the condition of the homes. A property in TS3 ready to move into or rent immediately will be worth a much higher price than an unmortgageable, unoccupied home that needs a lot of money spent on it.

If you are looking at properties in an area inside the M25 or even in central London, a home in poor condition will not significantly impact its value.

This is because spending £200 per sq ft. on renovation is minimal compared with other properties in that area that may sell for £1500 a sq ft.

It doesn’t matter how nice a kitchen and bathroom you put in a home in Keighley (BD21). The house will never be worth £1500 a sq ft!

Is it true some properties have a negative real value?

The characteristics of an unlendable property may include the following:

  • No kitchen or bathroom
  • Structural problems
  • Damp
  • Dry or wet rot
  • Presence of asbestos or other chemicals
  • Japanese knotweed or problems with other invasive plants/trees
  • Flood risk

If the costs of fixing such issues exceed what the finished liveable/rentable property is likely worth, it can be argued that a property has a negative absolute value. You should consider this carefully when looking at a cheap house for sale in UK.

Cheap Property For Sale UK and Home Renovation costs – Houses that need work for sale

The cost of labour and materials has increased significantly in the past few years.

One of the main reasons for labour costs going up is Brexit, which has caused a reduction in the amount of cheap and skilled labour from Europe.

Heavy renovation costs can be around £150 per sq ft, depending on the area. When looking at run-down properties for sale, especially cheap houses in County Durham, the labour costs can be lower.

Cheapest houses in the UK. Are you a Gazunderer?

One of the ways to buy a property for a low price via a more traditional sales process is gazundering.

This is where the buyer lowers their offer just before contracts are exchanged. You may have agreed on a reasonable sales price based on land registry data of similar-sized properties in that postcode, plus or minus any house price moves since the data was put into the public record.

Estate agents who know their area well will know what to advise sellers to do and what is realistic.

Once the property is off the market, you can try to drag out the purchase, making excuses about lenders’ valuation delays, delays in searches, disagreements and subsequent firing and hiring of solicitors, holidays, sick friends and family, etc.

When you are close to potentially jeopardising the chain and the current owner’s new home, you go in with a much lower offer, maybe 10 or 15% lower than your original one, hoping they will be forced to take it.

This has worked in 2024 and may be an even more powerful technique in 2024 as there is a good chance the property prices may reduce further, or at least properties may become more illiquid.

Run down properties for sale – is a boarded up house worth it?

The problem with many cheap houses for sale in the UK is they are for sale at auction, where all you have is the auction pack, and you might not be able to view the property. This makes boarded up houses very risky.

Houses under 20k?

These are the types of houses, like properties to buy Durham, that are likely to be boarded up and challenging to view.

Can you renovate a house for £20k?

If you can do some or all of the work yourself, you can renovate a house for 20k. Yes. Maybe budget £6000 for a kitchen, £4000 for a bathroom, decoration £800 per room. The cost can come if you need wiring and a new gas boiler installed. These are specialist trades and can cost many thousands to get done legally.

With a home in poor condition, it can be hard to get a secured loan.