The last of the boroughs where you can rent for less than £1,000 a month

Recent rent hikes in London mean there are only three boroughs left where you can get an average two-bedroom flat for less than £1,000 a month...
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New research from Hamptons International shows four-figure monthly rents are now the London norm. However, escaping to far-flung cheaper boroughs is no help.

In Bexley, where the average rent for a two-bedroom flat is £975 a month; in Barking and Dagenham where it’s £948 a month, or in Havering, £925 a month, the cost of annual rail season tickets typically adds another £1,800 a year to travel costs, cancelling out any savings.


This makes a huge dent in incomes. Someone earning £30,000 has a take-home salary of £1,946 a month, while someone on £40,000 takes home £2,512.89.

Johnny Morris, head of research at Hamptons International, said rents in the capital increased by an inflation-busting 6.4 per cent in the last year, more than twice the 3.1 per cent growth seen nationwide.

On the upside, these prices are for whole homes and few Londoners live alone in rented properties. “You will have two sharers, or even two couples, in a two-bedroom flat and that starts to explain how people can afford to live in the more central areas — and of course, the more centrally you live, the less you pay in travel costs,” adds Morris.

Central living and renting in Westminster incurs the highest cost, with the average two-bedroom flat coming in at £3,759, or £45,108 per year — well over the average London salary. A flat in Kensington and Chelsea, City of London, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham or Islington will cost more than £2,000 per month.

£950 a month: this two-bedroom Barking flat is good value...if you don't commute

If you want to rent a house with three bedrooms  the cheapest option is Havering (£1,200 per calendar month or £14,400 a year), followed by Harrow (£1,250 a month or £15,000 per year) and Greenwich (also £1,250 a month). The most expensive option is a three-bedroom house in Kensington and Chelsea at £6,000 a month or £72,000 per year. Westminster renters will have to find £5,850 a month or £70,200 per year.

But contrary to popular belief, in all but the cheapest areas it is still less expensive to rent than to buy with a high-loan-to-value first-time buyer mortgage, even with the current low interest rates.

A recent study by estate agents Knight Frank found Londoners are prepared to spend 42 per cent of their pre-tax monthly salary on rent, compared to 40 per cent nationwide. More than half of renters aged 18 to 24 said they would live in a small studio flat to cut costs, as would 42 per cent of 35 to 44 year-olds, and 39 per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds.

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