A lettings chief says London may never regain its appeal to the typical renter, as new data shows the capital still struggling to recover.
Room-sharing service SpareRoom says the price of the average London room rent in the third quarter of this year was £725, down seven per cent from the £780 in Q3 2019.
Although London fared worse than other English cities, it was actually Edinburgh that saw the single biggest rent drop, out of the UK’s 50 largest urban locations, with rents in the Scottish capital down 10 per cent between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020.
Telford, Glasgow, Gloucester, Ipswich, Birmingham, Reading, Aberdeen and Stoke-on-Trent also showed declines, although only between one and two per cent.
“Once again, London dominates the headlines in terms of falling rents, and it’s generally the most expensive neighbourhoods that are worst affected. With so many young renters leaving the capital, either to find cheaper rents, to move with family, or to leave the UK altogether, it's hard to know when - or even if - London will regain the appeal it had before the pandemic” says SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson.
"What we’re seeing might just be a temporary shift in the rental market, or it may be the start of the UK’s rental map being redrawn permanently. Even if young renters do return to the capital in their previous numbers, affordability will be their absolute top priority, in a city that already had an affordability crisis coming into this.”
SpareRoom’s analysis looks in detail at the rent falls across the capital.
Rents in EC3/Aldgate (down 34 per cent), W9/Maida Vale/Paddington (down 20 per cent) and SW1/Westminster/Belgravia/Pimlico (down 17 per cent) saw the biggest falls in London, decreasing dramatically from £1,244, £983 and £1,108 to £824, £788 and £922 respectively year-on-year.
The only London postcode district that didn’t see a drop is SE, with rents sitting at £713.
Taking a closer look at the capital’s postcodes, there were also dramatic rent decreases in W10 (North Kensington), NW8 (St John’s Wood) and W8 (Holland Park), all down by 16 per cent from £932, £944 and £1,132 to £785, £797 and £956 respectively.
NW1 (Camden) saw rents drop from £1,011 to £860 (down 15 per cent), with SW6 (Fulham) down 14 per cent (£939 to £807) and SW8 (South Lambeth) down 13 per cent (£856 to £744).