Want to Rent in London? Best be a Banker or a Lawyer

By David Butler 15 May 2013

Income needed to rent a one bed in London     

Rents in London have rocketed eight times faster than wages over the past year so we wanted to determine exactly how much you need to earn to afford to rent in the capital. Using our Rentonomy area map, we've calculated how much an individual needs to earn to rent a one-bed in each area of London by themselves.

We’ve discovered that on average you need to be taking home at least £38,000 to rent a one-bedroom flat in London on your own. This assumes you spend 30% of your net income on rent. Obviously this figure could be a lot higher, but generally 30% is considered an acceptable chunk of your monthly salary.

The frightening reality is that this means even some of the best paid young people in London cannot comfortably afford to rent a one-bed in London. To rent the average one bed property in the city, you need an income 30% higher than the UK average. According to Totaljobs.com only the starting salary of Investment Bankers (£42,000) and Lawyers (£38,000) are enough to afford living alone in the average one-bed flat in London.

So for young people leaving university and moving to London to start their first jobs a flat-share is generally the only viable option.

Our data shows that 90% of areas in London require young people to earn more than the UK average in order to rent a one-bed. The highest required earnings are in Marylebone, followed by Chelsea and Kensington.

We’ve discovered that on average Londoners need to earn at least £38,000 to rent a one-bedroom flat by themselves. For young people new to the city, they need to be on the starting salary of a Lawyer or an Investment Banker to afford this.

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