Rents in central London now top £1,000 a week

It now costs nearly £50,000 a year to rent even a tiny flat in central London, new figures show. 
Unsurprisingly, west Mayfair tops the rental stakes, where every square foot of a modest two-bedroom flat earns nearly £80 a year in rent.
Renters must find £1,000 a week to have any hope of being a tenant in Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square hinterland, the W1K postcode.
The research, compiled by Lonres and Dataloft, highlights the 20 most expensive postcodes to rent a home in the capital.
It shows that, for those without seven-figure salaries, homes in Zone 1 and much of Zone 2 are now out of bounds, and comes amid mounting calls for the Government to introduce rent caps in the capital.


The second most expensive option would be a property around Belgrave Square Garden in Belgravia — the SW1X postcode — priced at an average £63 per square foot per year, or almost £40,000 for a year’s rent on a typical two-bedroom flat.
Properties in south Mayfair, W1J, cost £58 per square foot, while in Belgravia south of Eaton Square, SW1W, they cost an average of £55 per square foot.
Virginia Skilbeck, lettings director at Douglas & Gordon, says rents in these exalted postcodes tend to be paid for by employers.
“These are, predominantly, corporate lets, with a smattering of hedge funders keen to be close to work,” she adds. “You get the occasional self-employed tenant, but they tend to be in the minority.”
Hedie Yeganeh, lettings manager at Fine & Country Mayfair, says many renters are from abroad, in particular Europe and America.
Nicole Ratzker, director of lettings at Aston Chase, adds that there are also Russian and Japanese tenants in the area.
Other places that make the top 20 are a mixture of traditional prime central London locations, including Kensington, Chelsea, Marylebone and Notting Hill, and some more newly fashionable development zones such as Fitzrovia, Soho, Bloomsbury, Paddington and Earl’s Court.
The only area in east London on the list is the increasingly fashionable Whitechapel, London’s original Dickensian slum, where renters now pay an average of £44 per square foot for the privilege of living within walking distance of Brick Lane. This means a 600sq ft flat would cost a total of £26,400 per year.
North London contributes one affluent leafy suburb to the list — St John’s Wood, NW8, at £42 per square foot. The NW1 postcode, which encompasses Camden Town, Regent’s Park, King’s Cross and Chalk Farm, costs £43 per square foot.
According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, private rents in London grew by 15.3 per cent between January 2011 and January this year, sparking calls for the Government to enforce rent capping to protect tenants from endless price rises that make it impossible for them to save for deposits.
John Morley, managing director of Johns & Co estate agents, rates Queen’s Park as an option for renters looking for relative value in central London.
“Here you can find superb schooling, fantastic connectivity via both the Bakerloo and the Jubilee lines, and a cosmopolitan village atmosphere, for far less money,” he says.
“A two-bedroom apartment within walking distance of the Tube costs about £2,500 per month. A four-bedroom house close to all the amenities in Queen’s Park is between £3,750 and £4,500 per month.”

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