Want to find the cheapest areas to Rent in London? Read on . . .
The cheapest place to live in London is in the Bexley area according to recent studies, with an average rent of £1100 per month spread across various property types and bedroom sizes. One might be surprised at this, considering Bexley is a hotspot for student accommodation, easily within reach of the city centre. Travel can be as quick as 45 minutes.
CHEAP LONDON LIVING – IS THAT FOR REAL?
Living in London has always been a dream for many, both within the UK and abroad. However, the city does have a reputation for being pricey, and this can be off-putting at first! According to the latest statistics available from the UK-government-run Valuation Office Agency, London has the highest median monthly rent at £1430. It ranks shoulder-to-shoulder with other expensive cities in the world, such as Paris, Zurich, and Hong Kong.
However, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and due to government affordability programmes working with property developers, the rental prices in London in 2021 have dropped by 12.4% as compared to the prices in 2020. There are also a dazzling variety of residential developments to chose from, ranging from those with many facilities and amenities, to those with a more modest offering for those, for example students, that may just be starting out on the rental market for the first time.
THIS IS THE MAP YOU WANT TO LOOK AT
- Bexley (lowest rents)
- Barking and Dagenham
- Waltham Forest
- Redbridge (highest rents)
BUYING PROPERTIES IS EXPENSIVE . . .
London’s average house prices are the most dear in the UK, coming to an average of £501,000. The average property prices in some of the inner 12 boroughs are as follows:
- LEWISHAM (Southeast London): £ 511,438
- TOWER HAMLETS (east London): £526,545
- GREENWICH (Southeast London): £592,063
These prices increase up to around £850,000 in some of the most expensive boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea.
. . . HENCE THE RENTS ARE EXPENSIVE
No wonder that, facing such steep purchase prices and mortgages, landlords mostly look to keep rents high. There has been an increase in rental prices from March 2020 to 2021 by 3.7 percent. So rentals vary across the board. Affluent areas such as Chelsea and Mayfair will undoubtedly bring the average rentals up across hte city, but that doesn’t tell the absolute truth about rentals across the board.
If you’re new to London, how would you know what a fair or good deal is in terms of rentals? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you better understand the rental market in the capital.
We had a look at different areas such as Mayfair and Chelsea, comparing them to the areas in southwest London that are a lot more affordable. We looked at studios, mansions, one beds, two beds, etc., to give you a reliable picture.
Breaking it down a little bit further, the average rental for a one-bedroom property is £1730 per month, a two-bedroom property is £2,300 per month, and a three-bedroom property is £3,100 per month. The moment we start to include properties outside of the city, that do not have a London postcode, the average decreases – location, as always, is key.
KEEPING A HANDLE ON COSTS
A common option in London is flat sharing, especially popular with students and young professionals. This means you would rent a room, and have shared use of the communal areas, such as lounge, kitchen, etc. Similar sharing arrangements are popular with large town houses and other types of property.
Three tips to follow when renting your london home:
- Negotiatiate – keep an eye on market rents and comparable prices for similar properties in the area
- Check your commuting distance – travel costs can be the largest single expense for Londoners apart from rent, so don’t travel further than you need to for work!
- Renting a home in south London is much more cheaper, it will save your money and there are several areas in south London where you can easily find something that would suit your budget plus the best part is if you have your office at central London you can easily take a transport and reach there within 20-30 minutes.
Another point to bear in mind is utility costs i.e. heating, electricity, water, broadband, and so forth. You can check on online resident forums, as well as utility supplier comparison websites such as Which to ensure what you are going to pay is reasonable as compared with market rates paid by fellow renters. A purely illustrative average monthly spend on utility bills would be something like £50 on electricity, £20-£35 on heating, £25 on water, and
During winter time, the heater is mostly used so around 35 pounds is spent on heating but during summers, only 20 pounds are paid. Around 126 pounds/month is paid on council tax that depends on the value of your home and the area where you live.
A MORE IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THAT LIST OF CHEAPEST RENTAL AREAS
Average rent: £1,150 PCM
Bexley is a London borough in south-east London, with a population of around 248,000. This is one of the greenest boroughs in London. Established in the 1960s, it offers many parks and woodland areas. It has also ranked hisstorically as among the top two boroughs in London in terms of safety from crime.
- Average 2-bedroom monthly rental price: £1,243 PCM
- Rental price range: £680-£1256 PCM
- Median property purchase prices in Bexley: £412,000
You can find homes to rent ranging from studios, all the way up to large 5-6 plus bedroom houses in Bexley at reasonable prices. Bexley is just 8 miles from Bromley, a suburban shopping hub featurying many independent shops. This whole area provides a quieter environment ideal for young families.
Bexley stands around 45 minutes away from central London, you can find easy train and bus links to Charing Cross and London Victoria. Recent research has shown that living as a group of four sharers renting in Bexley is the cheapest way to rent in the capital city. That may costs only around £400-500 PCM per person, which works out to be 35% less than the average cost of renting a room in some other parts of London.
2. BARKING AND DAGENHAM
Average rent: £1210 PCM
Barking and Dagenham is perched on the east end of London, it is the top area for first-time home buyers in London. This east London borough is predicted to get an extra 50,000 new homes which is going to add to the mix of high-rise Victorian and Edwardian residences in that area. Plentiful riverside properties really do make it the whole package as an area to live in. Here the average property is sold for £325,000 – much more affordable than other parts of the capital!
Barking is the principal district in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, standing nine miles east of London’s official center. There are regular tube services on the Hammersmith & City and District lines, as well as National Rail Services into Fenchurch street.
Looking closer at Dagenham, the area crosses over into the neighbouring county of Essex which is technically outside Greater London. It does have great transport links however, situated on the District line. It will take you about 30 minutes on the tube to get to the city of London. There’s a good selection of quality housing stock in Dagenham, you could still pick up a nice 2-bedroom terraced house with a garden for approximately £260,000, a 3-bedroom might cost somewhere in the region of£ 270,000-280,000, still below £300,000 and significantly below the London average house sale price which is in excess of £500,000.
Average rent: £1145 PCM
Havering is a quiet suburban borough on the eastern outskirts of London. The rental prices here are not far above Bexley. and this area is less densely populated. This is perfect for those who like their peace and serenity, fields, and woodlands. Romford town lies at the center of Havering, a bustling nightlife and vibrant shopping hub.
For commuters, it takes only around 35 to 40 minutes to reach central London with the help of public transport. You can find 1-bedroom flats that provide you with a spacious double bedroom, separate living room, and kitchen-street parking for just around £1,100 which is much more affordable as compared to more central areas of the metropolis.
Average rent: £1250 PCM
A borough located in the southeastern regions of London, Bromley is considered as the 6th safest place to live among the 32 London boroughs. The area is well-policed and the residents routinely comment on the area’s peaceful nature and secure lifestyle with low crime rates. Bromley has been considered London’s best up-and-coming spot for professionals, young couples and families. The area is a unique mixture of urban chic and rural charm, consisting of 30% farmland. One can find excellent transport, amenities, and a host of cheap housing options.
There are quite a few train links, with the nearest stations being:
- Crystal Palace
- Penge West
- Bromley North
Bromley is just around 16 minutes from London Victoria via Bromley South and also it has good links with the rest of the country. One can find a plethora of stunning properties with impeccable finishes, and sleek, modern, and large kitchens quite close to the town centre.
Average rent: £1150 PCM
Sutton is the 80th largest local authority in England by population and forms part of the southern border of London. It is one of the most tranquil boroughs around the capital, known for its charming period housing, exquisite green spaces, and quiet residential vibe. The crime rates are also very respectable and ideal for families. Sutton stands just 45 minutes from central London with superb bus and metro train links. Sutton is known for its best quality schools, outstanding outdoor public spaces, boasting 1,500 acres of open space and a huge regional park.
Average rent: £312 PCM (home sharing)
This London borough dating back to 1965 covers an area previously administered by the Essex county boroughs of West Ham and East Ham, authorities that were both abolished by the same act. Newham is most famous for containing the Olympic Park, including the stadium.
Unfortunately, although the rents are very reasonable and this borough surely does belong on a list such as this, the crime rates in recent years have made it quite unattractive to those looking to move. The incidences of crime have reached at times double what has been reported in the previous areas listed above. There is sadly a reputation of residents here as being typically on low incomes, low levels of qualifications, low skills base, poor housing and poor health. Having said that, as with all borough of London the ethnic crucible and cultural diversity does lend it a wonderful flavour which is uniquely and unmistakeably London.
Average rent: £1200 PCM
The London borough of Croydon is a large town in south London known most for its extensive shopping and night-time frivolities. Croydon is famous for its graffiti and other street art. The truly stunning murals which adorn public places are unlike most other areas in London and indeed the country has a whole. Croydon has become a great draw for young people. Croydon sits just 15 minutes away from London Victoria and 11 miles from London Charing Cross—making the centre of the capital within easy reach for the daily commuter.
There are a variety of restaurants, cocktail bars, pubs, clubs, etc. with many of them in period buildings portraying the rich history of the area. Local educational institutions are also worth mentioning, some of the best schools and colleges in the country, such as Croydon College, benefit residents who live close to here. Croydon College is the only further education college to have been awarded the Queen´s award for voluntary service.
Average rent: £1250 PCM
The most outstanding attraction that makes people move to Greenwich is it being situated right by a beautiful section of the River Thames. History just leaps out at you wherever you turn, whether it is the Royal Greenwich Observatory, or the the National Maritime Museum, and aother naval and military remannts of Britain’s colonial past. There are plentiful green spaces to walk and take the family on the weekends, as well as a good vibrancy added to the area by students at the University of Greenwich. It is a very safe and cheap place to live in London, with the lowest crime rate of any area on this list.
The areas to particularly look out for in Greenwich are the streets right next to Greenwich park, especially on the Croom’s Hill side, extending down towards Deptford Bridge station. The Maze Hillside is also very pleasant. However, you’ll need to be pretty well off to live in this area to say the least! On the other hand, the Blackheath area is more popular with young students and professionals on a tighter budget.
9. WALTHAM FOREST
Average rent: £1300 PCM
Waltham Forest is a London borough in northeast London. It treasures a rich history of arts and crafts going back centuries. It is one of the greenest boroughs north of the River Thames to live in.
It is surrounded by Leytonstone in the south, Walthamstow, and Chingford in the north, and also by the ancient woodlands of Epping Forest that gives visitors a real feel of rural England without having to venture too far from London. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés to satisfy residents and visitors, and it is only 45 minutes away from central London. With the green spaces covering almost six thousand acres, it is one of the largest public areas in the London region.
At time of writing, the average asking rent for a 1-bedroom flat: £1064; 2-bedroom flat: £1415; and a 3-bedroom flat: £1681.
Asking rent per person for 1-bedroom flat: £1064; 2-bedroom flat: £707.50; and a 3-bedroom flat: £560.34 (flat share).
Average rent: £1,296 PCM
Hillingdon is the second largest London borough. A suburban town in west London, considered to be a relatively safe borough with comparatively safe crime rates. Hillingdon is located 14 miles west of central London, has Heathrow Airport, one of the most important international travel hubs in the world, on its boundaries, and has 800 acres of woodland, country parks, fields and farms, as well as several rivers and the Grand Union Canal.
Average house purchase price: £416,693
There are 20 outstanding primary schools nearby, around 146 restaurants and cafes, around 927 shops and other commercial enterprises, 15 underground or overground stations, in addition to 4 railway stations. It is home to Brunel University and Stockley Park, London.
Average rent: £1100 PCM
Lewisham forms part of inner London, it is a London borough in south London. It is one of the best places to rent in London if you are planning on house sharing. It is less than 6 miles from central London, 12 minutes from Victoria London and the main town of southeast London borough. Lewisham infrastructure investment has been considerable as it relates to new homes, leisure facilities, and transport links.
A rich sense of community and diversity see it set to become The Mayor’s London Borough of Culture in 2022. Lewisham is remarkably more affordable than Blackheath, Crofton Park, and Brockley. Cyclists will love the numerous local routes built specifically for commuting or a scenic cycle, including the Waterlink Way.
Current average asking rent for 1-bedroom flat: £1,077; 2-bedroom flat: £1,548; and a 3-bedroom flat: £2,051.
Asking rent per person for 1-bedroom flat: £1,077; 2-bedroom flat: £774; and a 3-bedroom flat: £683.67 (flat sharing).
Average rent: £1300 PCM
The London borough of Redbridge is located in East London. The crime rate is relatively low compared to other London boroughs like Westminster, Lambeth, or Southwark. Redbridge is home to a young and relatively well-educated population, the average house purchase price is £404,860.
The name Redbridge comes from a prominent red brick bridge across the River Roding. The borough boasts 14 conservation areas, parks, and green areas.
Current asking rent for a 1-bedroom flat: £952; 2-bedroom flat: £1,350; and 3-bedroom flat: £1,570.
Asking rent per person for 1-bedroom flat: £952; 2-bedroom flat: £675; and a 3-bedroom flat: £523.34 (flat sharing).