London: the new renting capital of the world?

With home ownership on the slide for the first time in a century, new figures reveal swathes of London are becoming dominated by Generation Rent.
One in four homes in the capital is now privately rented, according to property data company Lonres and analysts Dataloft, prompting some experts to warn that the character of many parts of the city could change forever. 

Renting is no longer the preserve of the poor, the data shows. London’s rental heartland is Westminster, where nearly 40 per cent of properties are being let in the private sector. The City and Kensington & Chelsea take joint second place, with 36 per cent of homes let privately. 

Carmen Champney, of Hathaways estate agents, says renters in the Victoria/Westminster area are paying between £500 and £650 a week for one-bedroom flats. Buying a similar property would cost £900,000. 

NEW FIGURES REVEAL THE AVERAGE COST OF RENTING IN EVERY LONDON BOROUGH


However, her concern is that high numbers of renters create a rapid turnover and a transient feel. “I think you lose a bit of the heart of the community with so much change going on all the time,” she says.

The average cost of a London rental property has risen six per cent to £316 a week in the past year, according to new figures from Hamptons International’s head of research, Johnny Morris. New data shows that even in the cheapest boroughs — Bexley in south-east London and Havering, in the east — a one-bedroom flat costs £170 a week, while typical two-bedroom flats cost £225 a week.

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