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Where are the most affordable rents in London?

Friday 03 August 2018

Data revealed by property website OnTheMarket.com shows that living as a group of four in Bexley, South East London, is the cheapest way to rent in London.

Assuming the scenario of one person per bedroom, the data uses average private rental prices to determine whether one, two, three or four bedroom properties are the best value in each borough.

For a four bedroom property in Bexley, the average monthly total rent is £1,633.52 but divided between four people, it is £408.38 each. This is 35 per cent cheaper than the average cost of renting a room in London (£629 per month according to the Government’s April 2017 – March 2018 Private Rental Market Summary Statistics).

Bexley station is situated in Travelcard zone 6 and is around 14 miles from London Charing Cross station - a journey time of 38 minutes while travelling on a Southeastern train. A daily return journey costs up to £6.23, £62.30 for a weekly season ticket and £239.30 for a monthly season ticket.

Jake Blackman, Branch Manager, of ARLA Propertymark Protected agency Acorn, Bexleyheath:

“This research confirms what we’ve long predicted - that Bexley Borough is going to be in high demand for the next few years. It’s one of the reasons we’re opening two more offices in the borough (Sidcup and Blackfen), in addition to our existing ones in Bexleyheath and Welling. 

“With the introduction of Crossrail into the area, improving the already vast transport links into the city, and the plethora of good schools and entertainment options, Bexley has proved to be a hotspot for those moving out of the humdrum of city life. 

“This is mainly due to Bexley still being very much an affordable place to rent. In addition, there aren't many boroughs that can offer the diverse entertainment and shopping facilities of Bexley. These include the Broadway Shopping Centre in Bexleyheath which has modern shops and food chains, complemented by Bexley Village which has a more alternative array of independent restaurants, boutique shops and bars.”

Across the rest of the capital, OnTheMarket’s data showed that in North London, living as a group of four in Enfield is the cheapest scenario at an average of £521.84 for each of the four tenants.

In South London, renting as a group of four in Croydon provides the best value. The average monthly rental cost for each of the four tenants is £508.41.

And in West London, living as a group of three in Hillingdon is the most cost-effective way to rent with an average cost of £498.44 per month for each tenant. While in Central London, the cheapest scenario is to live as a group of four in Islington at an average rental cost of £895.85 per person.

There are some boroughs where it is cheaper to live as a group of three instead of four. These are Haringey, Havering, Bromley, Merton, Sutton, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond upon Thames.

There are also some London boroughs where it is cheaper to live as a group of two (one bedroom each). These are Camden, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.  

Of course, there are ways to cuts costs further. If couples choose to occupy a property, they reduce the monthly rental costs up to half.

The most expensive boroughs to rent were unsurprisingly in Central London, with the rental costs for Kensington and Chelsea being £3,271.34 per month for each tenant sharing a four bedroom property. Tenants sharing in Westminster can expect to pay £2167.34 per month if sharing a two bedroom home. 

The map below shows how many bedrooms achieve the best value per tenant within each borough. Click on the map for a larger version. 

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Helen Whiteley, Commercial Director at OnTheMarket.com comments:

“The data shows that at a time when tenants in the capital are becoming increasingly stretched, they can potentially reduce their overall rental outgoings by examining different cost scenarios based on the number of flatmates. The findings also highlight that considering moving to a different borough can save notable amounts of money for the difference of just a few miles.”

Charlie Benn, Director of Lettings at ARLA Propertymakr Protected agency Anthony Martin estate agents in Bexley:

“We often see people relocating from price inflated areas within South East London to much more affordable Bexley postcodes. 

“With a journey time into central London falling within 45 minutes to an hour, at a time when two hour commutes are on the rise, it proves ideal for City workers. Bexley is also within an easy commute to the highly anticipated Crossrail Link (at Abbey Wood), which is due to open in December 2018, providing more time saving commutes.

“The suburban area of Bexley provides the best of both worlds with its close proximity to excellent schools, green spaces and affordable prices while also within driving reach of places such as Bluewater Shopping Centre and the centre of London under an hour away.”