What is the average rent in London?

When it comes to renting in London, there’s very little about it that could be termed ‘average’. London frequently graces the top spot of worlds most expensive cities to live in and rents are a huge component of that. The average 2 bed costs £320 per week at the moment, equivalent to around £1,400 per month.

In reality, this kind of rent can be found on the zone 3/4 border in north London and in mid zone 3 in south London. In prime central London rents are about double this figure, although in some super prime areas around Hyde Park the figure can be much higher. At the other end of the spectrum, in far north east London where rents are generally lowest they sit around 40% below the London average.

Many people struggle to afford rents in London. Many factors have conspired to lift rents in London but one underpinning it all is the fact that London is awesome and everyone wants to live here. Having a thriving financial services sector also means that there are plenty of young people who can afford high rents which makes life difficult for the less affluent group like creatives and public sector workers. We did some research last year which revealed a “wall of unaffordability” which roughly remarked the tube zone 2/3 boundary. We showed that the average graduate salary would not cover the average cost of a room in 90% of this area, the only exception being in the south east corner (which is only really in zone 2 as a technicality). The calculations were based on a standard expenditure threshold of 30%, that being the rule-of thumb for what percent of ones income one should spend on rent.


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While we at Rentonomy look at London as a collection of over 200 villages, the geography of London is commonly viewed from the perspective of compass zones (e.g. north west London, east London etc). On this basis there is a big difference between those compass zones on the east side and west side, the west side being substantially more expensive. On the west side of town, the west zones is by far the most expensive. The average 2 bed rent in west London costs £460, 140% above the city average. This is followed by the south west at £394 per week and the north west £366 per week. The east side of town is much more affordable with the north east costing £283 on average, the east £268 and the south east being the most affordable zone at £250 per week. when looked at from this perspective, its no wonder a huge proportion of the searches we get are for south east London, as it’s the only area many people have a chance of being able to live in. It also makes it the most exciting part of town because its likely to become increasingly popular with young creative types who represent the life-blood of London’s cultural scene.

To show how rents sit in the national context, let’s look at what you can get elsewhere for the same rent as average 2 bed flat in London. When looking at comparisons across cities, we’re looking at flats built in the last 10 years as these tend to be quite similar so make for a better comparison. In England’s second and this cities, Birmingham and Manchester, £320 per week will get you either a 2 bed right in the centre of town or a 3 bed slightly further out, but still within easy walking distance of the centre. In Scotland’s capital Edinburgh, one gets much more for the average rent in London. In fact there are currently four-bedroom properties available just off Princes Street, the main shopping street just half a mile from Edinburgh central station. In Cardiff, the capital of Wales it’s a similar story - £320 will easily get you a spacious 3 bedroom property at the top of a very fancy shiny tower.

For more London rental information view our discover London section.


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