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Up-and-Coming London Rental Hotspots revealed in new analysis

New data from flat share website SpareRoom has revealed what it calls “the up-and-coming London rental hotspots” with properties further away from Central London skyrocketing in popularity.

Comparing the top most searched-for London rental locations in 2023 vs 2022, the biggest climbers within the rankings were Abbey Wood (up 41 places from 99 to 58), Forest Gate (up 24 places from 86 to 62), and Crystal Palace (up 23 places from 90 to 67).

In the past two years, searches for properties in Abbey Wood have more than tripled at 210%, whilst searches for Forest Gate properties were up 157%.


The top 10 biggest ‘climber’ locations tend to be between 7 and 11 miles from Central London, highlighting a growing demand for properties further from the capital’s centre. Interestingly they’re also some of the cheapest areas to rent in the capital. These locations not only benefit from lower rent costs, but are also increasingly well-connected, with the Elizabeth Line serving many of the areas, including Abbey Wood and Forest Gate.

On the other hand, demand for areas within three miles of Central London are quickly decreasing, as well as in some previous rental hotspots such as Camden Town, where the number of searches have dropped 45% in the past year.

Popularity of London rental locations


Biggest risers

Biggest fallers

1.            Abbey Wood (+41 from 99 to 58)

1.            Canning Town (-25 from 61 to 86)

2.            Forest Gate (+24 from 86 to 62)

2.            King’s Cross (-2 3 from 46 to 69)

3.            Crystal Palace (+23 from 90 to 67)

3.            Holborn (-22 from 85 to 107)

4.            Plaistow (+22 from 95 to 73)

4.            Canada Water (-22 from 53 to 75)

5.            Tottenham (+20 from 75 to 55)

5.            Camden Town (-19 from 78 to 97)

6.            Woolwich (+19 from 54 to 35)

6.            Kensington (-18 from 70 to 88)

7.            Colindale (+18 from 64 to 46)

7.            Liverpool Street (-17 from 88 to 105)

8.            Ealing Broadway (+17 from 66 to 49)

8.            Clapham Common (-15 from 76 to 91)

9.            Leytonstone (+15 from 67 to 52)

9.            London Bridge (-15 from 55 to 70)

10.         Catford (+14 from 97 to 83)

10.         Old Street (-14 from 92 to 106)

Looking at the 10 overall most searched for areas of London, Clapham still takes the top spot based on volume of searches, however, the total number of searches has decreased by a third (33%) year on year. 

Similarly, whilst Islington, Canary Wharf and Battersea all remain in the top 10, each of these popular locations has fallen in the rankings, with Fulham leaving the top 10 completely. 

On the other hand, Wembley has entered the top ten, climbing six places from 11 to 5 in the space of a year. Hackney, Stratford, Ealing and Greenwich are other top 10 areas that have also seen an increase.

And many are venturing even further afield with towns and cities outside of London also increasing in popularity, likely due to the installation of the Elizabeth line. Searches for properties in Southall more than tripled between 2021 and 2023, rising by 210%, whilst searches in Ilford more than doubled at 128%. Other Elizabeth line commuter hotspots include Slough (+87%), Romford (+77%), Maidenhead (+69%) and Reading (+51%).

As with the increase in renters searching for properties outside of Central London, nationwide data from SpareRoom suggests a similar trend in renters looking to cheaper neighbouring cities outside the likes of Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

Searches for properties in Stockport, Warrington and Bolton have risen by 88%, 62% and 56% respectively, whilst Wolverhampton (+63%) and Bradford (+63%) were other increasingly popular cities that neighbour a major hub.

Matt Hutchinson, director at SpareRoom, says: “Our search data has highlighted changing priorities for both London and UK-wide renters, with proximity to major city centres becoming a less significant factor in the search for a room.

“Renters are increasingly looking at locations further out to set up home, and within London, the likes of Abbey Wood and Crystal Palace are real hotspots at the minute, with an abundance of green space and easy access to the city.”

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