London rental market: 13 of 20 least-affordable places to rent in England are in the capital
Metrics including median monthly gross pay and rent were reviewed to find the most, and least, affordable places in England. The capital is confirmed as the worst in the country.
Thirteen of the top 20 most unaffordable areas for renters in England are in London. But where are they? The costs for renters in the capital have been rising at record rates. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the year to September 2023, private rental prices were up 6.2% compared to the same period last year, the highest annual increase since data began being collected in January 2006, and 5.9% on August.
Coupled with a hike in the average number of enquiries submitted per property on the market across the UK, up from eight to 25 in the last four years according to Rightmove, the pressures are growing on London’s renters amid a wider cost of living crisis. Mayor Sadiq Khan has publicly called for the powers to introduce a rent freeze, while the Renters Reform Bill, which includes the scrapping of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, continues to be delayed in parliament.
Amid all of this, new analysis by home decor company Home Stratosphere has reviewed metrics including median monthly gross pay and median rent in areas across England to find the most, and least, affordable places in England. At the most affordable end came Rutland, followed by Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull and Warrington. At the least-affordable, 13 of the bottom 20 were in London. Let’s take a look at where they are.
Barking and Dagenham
The 20th least-affordable area was east London’s Barking and Dagenham. According to Home Stratosphere’s analysis, the average monthly rent is £2,321, and rent £1,300, up 2% on last year. Out of 100, the borough was awarded a 64.1 score for affordability.
Just ahead of Barking and Dagenham in 19th is Enfield. The median pay in the north London borough is £2,429, with rent at £1,350, a 3.9% rise on last year. Final score: 63.5.
Next on the list is Islington. The borough records a higher median monthly wage, £3,034, though also higher rent, at £1,795, up 5.6%. Score: 63.2.
With an average monthly wage of £2,607 and around £1,500 in rent, Haringey renters live in the 17th least affordable area in England.
The 16th least-affordable area in England is Redbridge. With a median monthly pay of £2,520 and rent at £1,348, up 7.8% and forming 53.5% of residents’ income, the borough is given a final score of 62.2.
West Sussex follows Redbridge, before Tower Hamlets continues the run of London locations. Rent is priced at £1,750, up 11%, and 56.2% of a median monthly wage of £3,112. Final score: 61.3.
After another brief interlude, Ealing comes in at 12th. Rent is up 7.1% at £1,500, while the median monthly wage is £2,436. Final score: 60.4.
The west London borough of Brent is next, with a score of 60.4. Rent has seen a smaller jump than most other locations covered to far, up 3.5%, though at £1,500, it is 61.6% of the average £2,702 monthly wage.
Barnet has an average monthly wage of £2,702, and rent of £1,500, a rise of 11.1% since the previous year. Final score: 59.6.
Merton is the next London borough, and the 7th least-affordable area. Average monthly wage is £2,508, while rent is £1,600, 63.8% of residents’ final income. Final score: 55.7.
South London’s Southwark reported a particularly high rent hike of 12.5% on the previous year, at £1,800. The median monthly wage is £2,904, and its final score 55.7.
In Hackney, Home Stratosphere’s analysis indicates the average monthly wage is £2,702 and rent £1,750. Final score: 55.4.
Getting very close to the least-affordable location now, Camden comes in third. A high average monthly wage of £2,989 is accompanied by high rent at £1,950. Final score: 54.9.
Kensington and Chelsea
Second is central London’s Kensington and Chelsea. The average monthly wage of £3,086 is largely offset by a rent of £2,500, 81% of income. Final score: 43.7.
And the least affordable place in England is Westminster. The average monthly rent, £2,455, shot up an extraordinary 22.8%, taking up 76.8% of a wage of £3,195. Final score: 40.