According to SpareRoom, the UK’s average monthly room rents have fallen by 2% – and that drop is almost entirely fuelled by the fact that they’ve crashed in the capital by 7%.
The ‘lockdown quarter’ between April and June this year saw the average national room rent drop from £603 a month to £590.
In London however, the decline was even steeper, with the average room dropping from £777 last year to £725 today – meaning that we’re back to 2017 level rents.
Interestingly, when you take London out of the mix, the average UK rents have actually increased slightly, showing just how much of a massive impact London is having on the market. Belfast has seen the biggest climb in rents, closely followed by Portsmouth. On the other end of the spectrum, however, Edinburgh closely follows London for sharp declines in rent.
So, where are the best bargains to be had in London?
Top London postcodes with the biggest drop in rent prices:
- W8 (Holland Park): average rent was £1,146, now £919 (20% drop)
- EC1 (Aldersgate/Finsbury/Holborn): average rent was £989, now £824 (£17% drop)
- SW8 (South Lambeth): average rent was £897, now £751 (16% drop)
- W10 (North Kensington): average rent was £900, now £756 (16% drop)
- WC1 (Bloomsbury/High Holborn): average rent was £1,065, now £902 (15% drop
- SW1 (Westminster/Belgravia/Pimlico): average rent was £1,086, now £928 (15% drop)
- NW1 (Camden): average rent was £966, now £832 (14% drop)
- N1 (Angel/Islington/Canonbury): average rent was £888, now £766 (14% drop)
- W14 (West Kensington): average rent was £924, now £811 (12% drop)
- NW8 (St John’s Wood): average rent was £914, now £803 (12% drop)
If you’ve got big bucks, head over to Holland Park, where rents are down a massive 20% from £1,146 to £919 a month. EC1 (Holborn, Finsbury – peak City) is down 17% from £989 to £824 and east London is down by 5% to £685.
Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom Director says: ‘Restrictions on moving home, the fact that people’s incomes have been negatively affected and a “flight from London” to other areas of the UK are all likely to be factors’.
‘Another possible trend that could be putting downward pressure on London rents is a move away from areas with London Underground connections, which traditionally command a premium.
‘With ongoing working from home and coronavirus fears putting people off getting on the tube, people may be looking instead at areas on the overground. That would explain why rents are faring better in some areas of southeast London.’
The rental crash may be indicative of a looming financial disaster but for those of us who are still in work and don’t have any option but to rent, this does make London more accessible.
Of course, rents aren’t fixed so prices may well shoot back up in a few months but at least for now, why not make hay while the sun shines?
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