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London Rents: What Are The Averages?

5 May 2020 Simon Banks Read time: 3 min
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Simon Banks

What goes up must come down. Unless you’re talking about London rents, which seem to go up and up and up. Rents in London saw a 3.7% increase in March 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. And yet, there are still some bargains to be had in the capital.

Grab a newspaper, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that renting in London requires having a small fortune in the bank, heirlooms and stock in Apple or Google. Fortunately, the reality isn’t quite so drastic.

Rents vary dramatically across the capital, and uber-expensive areas like Mayfair and Chelsea bring the total average up significantly. So, while the average might look high, it doesn’t tell the complete truth about London rents.

But what do you do if you’re new to renting in London and don’t know what constitutes a “fair” rental deal? Well, renter extraordinaire, worry not. We’ve put this guide of London rents together to help you better understand the rental market in the capital.

What is the average London rent?

Currently, the average London rent is £2,102 per month. Taking this figure at complete face value is difficult, however. For example, not only are there stark differences between neighbourhoods; the average also combines every type of property, from studios to grand mansions.

London averages by bedrooms:

  • One-bedroom property, £1,730
  • Two-bedroom property, £2,300
  • Three-bedroom property, £3,100
  • Four-bedroom property, £3,400
  • Five-bedroom property, £4,500

To further complicate matters, the figure decreases when you add Greater London, focusing on areas that don’t necessarily have a London postcode but fall under a London Borough. The Greater London average currently sits at £1,675 per month.

How does it compare to the UK average?

Exterior of UK houses

London is the most expensive place to live in the UK, and its average reflects this compared to the rest of the country. Even taking the Greater London average of £1,675, the rest of the UK is still significantly lower.

The UK average rental price is £960, which is £715 cheaper per month. But that doesn’t really come as a surprise, considering London is one of the most popular cities in the world and sees people moving from all parts of the globe to sample the capital’s lifestyle.

Which factors impact London rents?

You’re probably wondering how London neighbourhoods achieve their rental values. As a general rule of thumb, the closer a postcode is to central London, the higher the rental prices. The capital is made up of six zones, with Zone 1 representing the centralist part of London and Zone 6 the furthest away.

The number of transport options and amenities also play a role in determining rental prices, with well-connected areas that have plenty to do and see commanding more than postcodes that aren’t, let’s say, as busy.

It’s why South London tends to be the most affordable part of the city: most S postcodes don’t have access to a tube line. Other factors come into play too. Riverside locations, for example, often command higher rental prices.

Where are the most affordable areas in London?

Old Town Hall in Croydon

There are plenty of affordable neighbourhoods in London where you can expect to pay around £1,000 per month, which is just £40 more than the UK national average. One-bedroom flats in Norwood achieve in the region of £960, while Hornchurch properties fetch around £940.

If you’re thinking of sharing a room, costs can reduce even further. Or, they include utility bills and therefore work out cheaper on a monthly basis. Finding a bargain in London isn’t as hard as many believe it to be. All you need to do is have a good look around a property search engine like Movebubble.

10 of the cheapest London neighbourhoods

  1. Hornchurch, £940
  2. Hillingdon, £950
  3. South Norwood, £960
  4. Sutton, £977
  5. Croydon, £995
  6. Newham, £1,050
  7. Redbridge, £1,070
  8. Bromley, £1,075
  9. Walthamstow, £1,160
  10. Enfield, £1,175

Where are the most expensive areas in London?

If you’ve got the cash to splash, London has several high-end areas that command a rental premium. Neighbourhoods like Knightsbridge and Chelsea command around £3,500 per month — and that’s just to move into a one-bedroom property.

Of course, you pay for what you get, and these areas are centrally located, super fashionable and highly sought after by celebrities, City professionals and the like. And it’s not just central London: East, North and South all feature some of the capital’s most expensive areas.

Exterior of Harrods

10 of the most expensive London neighbourhoods

  1. Mayfair, £3,600
  2. Knightsbridge, £3,500
  3. Belgravia, £3,500
  4. Marylebone, £3,200
  5. Chelsea, £3,000
  6. Westminster, £3,000
  7. The City, £2,900
  8. Shoreditch, £2,250
  9. Islington, £2,000
  10. Hampstead, £1,850

Living the London life

So, as you can see, it’s not as simple as finding a rental average and expecting to pay that exact amount. Instead, use the averages as a basic guide. Focus on specific neighbourhoods, rather than the entirety of the capital. You’ll be sure to find a home, no matter your rental budget.

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