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London rents rise almost three times faster than wages

New research by the GMB trade union shows that rents in the capital are far outpacing wage growth, with a two-bedroom flat rising by an average of 26% in the six years to 2017 to reach an average of £1,500 per month, while earnings grew just 9% during the same period.

In almost half - 16 - of the 33 London boroughs, rent on a two-bedroom flat increased by more than 30% over the corresponding period, while, across England, rents rose 18.2% to £650 per calendar month.

In London, Greenwich is the borough that witnessed the greatest hike in rent between 2011 and 2017, with rent of a two-bedroom flat increasing by 50%, according to GMB, to hit an average rent of £1,350 per month.


Newham, Barking and Dagenham, and Lewisham, also saw a sharp rise in rent, increasing by 47.4%, 42.4%, and 42.1% respectively, between 2011 and 2017.

Warren Kenny, GMB regional secretary, commented: “These high rents are here to stay. So too are younger workers living for longer in private sector rental accommodation. As a direct consequence, employers must be prepared to pay much higher wages to staff to enable them to afford these much higher rents.

“If employers don't respond with higher pay they will face staff shortages as workers, especially younger people, are priced out of housing market.”

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