The best places to rent in London if you work in Tech
As one of the world's major cities for commerce and industry, it's not surprising that London has experienced a tech boom similar to those in New York and San Francisco over the last few years. Most large international technology corporations have key offices in London, including the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple. A number even choose to run their whole European offices from London, with thousands of staff helping to shape the future of technology throughout the world. In addition, while the USA may take the credit for many of the big-name companies we use in our daily lives, don't forget that a number of game-changing technology businesses including Shazam, Citymapper and Transferwise are British - after all, we did invent the TV and the telephone!
As for location, this tech boom is growing so swiftly in London that there's now even a 'Silicon Roundabout', named after the infamous Silicon Valley in California, where many budding start-ups have offices and key corporations have invested in research labs and hubs. In London this is based around the Old Street 'Tech City', but not all companies have chosen to locate themselves here, with others being located around Victoria (such as Google), and Central London (such as Twitter and Apple). It's also worth bearing in mind that due to rising rents in Silicon Roundabout and the traditional expense of central areas, new technology start-ups are beginning to emerge in areas such as Stratford and Whitechapel, with the aim of creating another innovative technology hub within the decade. So while the tech jobs might not be there just yet, keep your eye on developments in these areas if you want to really be on the pulse, and find the best place to rent in London.
If you work in….Silicon Roundabout
Idyllic Angel sits just north of Old Street in the Borough of Islington, and although the story behind the name isn't quite as romantic as you'd expect (it was named after a pub), the charming area more than makes up for this. There's a mix of properties available here, including modern apartments in developments and historic terraced houses, as well as converted former warehouses overlooking the canal, and there's a huge number of shops, restaurants and bars along Upper Street to keep residents entertained both day and night. Tucked behind Upper Street there's also a famous street of antiques shops called Camden Passage and a bi-weekly antiques market, as well as access to the scenic canal for a relaxed weekend walk. For more info on this area, check out our dedicated Angel London Guide.
Commute: A 20 minute walk
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £2870
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1700
A few miles further north of Angel, Kentish Town is Camden Town's lesser-known cousin - rather than the tourists and alternative punks who roam Camden Lock and Camden Market, Kentish Town is filled with a mix of families who have lived in the area for generations, students from Central St Martins, media professionals and writer types. Recently hailed as a foodie destination, it's seen an influx of new underground cocktail bars and independent restaurants in the last few years, while the high street remains an enclave of traditional businesses and delicatessens (including the must-visit Phoenicia Mediterranean Food Hall). For green space the beautiful Hampstead Heath is a short walk up the road, and offers a panoramic view across London as well as an excellent chance to get some almost-countryside air. For more info on this area, check out our dedicated Kentish Town London Guide.
Commute: A 12 minute journey on the Northern Line
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £2150
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1500
If you work in…Victoria
Without a doubt one of the poshest parts of London, Chelsea was immortalised by the British Reality TV show Made in Chelsea, which chronicled the lives of a group of young and beautiful residents. But don't let the reality connection put you off - this is a truly sophisticated part of West London. Beloved by aristocracy and nobility for hundreds of years, it's retained a regal atmosphere with wide, clean streets full of expensive designer shops and French restaurants, as well as million-pound Georgian terraces and sleek high-rise developments. Close to the Thames and plenty of tube stations, it's also ideally located for getting around the city - although living somewhere so genteel, you might not really want to leave.
Commute: A 20 minute walk
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £3170
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1800
It may not be the most scenic part of London, but after a few decades of neglect Vauxhall is now back on the scene and rapidly growing into a much-talked about area due to regeneration projects, a buzzing gay village and the imminent arrival of the American Embassy. It's also in an excellent location, close to the river and with plenty of transport options including the tube, the bus, and the train. Popular with young professionals and students due to the price, location and the big clubs under the archways for hard-partying weekends, it's increasingly being chosen as a great area to live by those working in tech or the city too. As for property types, the majority are modern developments or ex-authority buildings, but a few quaint cottages remaining from the Industrial Revolution days can be found on some of the quieter streets. For more information on this area, check out our dedicated Vauxhall London Guide.
Commute: A 9 minute bus ride on the 185
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £3035
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1300
If you work in….Central London
Always wanted a more European lifestyle of cafe terraces and cream-brick buildings, but can't quite leave London just yet? Try moving to elegant Marylebone, where the neat grid streets, French cheese shops and many European inhabitants will have you feeling like you're on the continent in no time. Filled with historic charm due to the long-term aristocratic landowners, it feels miles away from the madness of Oxford Street with tranquil garden squares and fine restaurants, as well as world-class healthcare on Harley Street and apartments in stucco-fronted terraces and hidden mews. The location is also unbeatable if you're looking to be close to the action - Oxford Circus, Soho and Covent Garden are all just a walk away.
Commute: A 15 minute walk
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £3500
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1900
If your perfect remedy for de-stressing after a long day at your tech job is to hit the shops, Shepherd's Bush might be perfect for you - it's home to Westfield's, an enormous glass shopping centre with over 300 different shops as well as restaurants, a cinema and more. Aside from splashing the cash, Shepherd's Bush is also a great area to live in if you want somewhere busy, bold and within budget with great transport links across London including the tube, the bus, and the Overground. The BBC Television Centre here attracts media professionals to the area so you'll probably find yourself with a few interesting neighbours, and while prices are rising due to gentrification and regeneration in the area, it's still surprisingly affordable given the amenities and the location.
Commute: An 11 minute journey on the Central Line
Average monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1900
Lowest monthly rental price for a two-bed property: £1400
Main image credit: Open Data Institute