London Student

London’s ‘sky-high’ cost of renting

An investigation by the BBC has revealed the ‘sky-high’ cost of rentals, as well as the extent of the housing crisis in London.

The study has found that, on average, renters in London spend over a 1/3 of their income on rent. Experts have said that housing should cost no more than 30% of take home pay.

The average cost of renting a property in London is £1,497 per month, compared to £989 across the South East of England and £527 in the North East.

The cost of a single room in a flat or house in London is, on average, £607 a month, well over the recommended 30% of mean incomes. Of the most expensive places to live in the UK, the top ten are all London boroughs.

Dan Wilson Craw, a policy manager from Generation Rent, a campaign dedicated to affordable housing, said: “the only option for average earners is to squeeze themselves into ever more crowded flat shares” which is “unsustainable… for anyone who wants to settle down”.

He believes that, unless there is a significant decrease in rent, London and surrounding areas will start to lose people to cheaper districts.

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Our chronic housing shortage means private renting is no longer a stepping stone for people starting out in life – it’s where a quarter of families have to live.

Sky-high rents mean unstable and uncertain living situations are becoming the norm

Many people have found that it is increasingly more difficult to find affordable housing in London and the South East, and have been forced to move away because of the large gap between salaries and rent.

Henry Gregg, from the National Housing Federation said: “These figures provide yet more evidence of how seriously unaffordable renting is in this country. Sky-high rents mean unstable and uncertain living situations are becoming the norm.”

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government has said that they have “doubled the housing budget… investing £8bn in an extra 400,000 quality affordable homes to rent and buy” in an effort to combat the ever growing crisis.

According to Lloyds Banking Group UK, housing affordability in UK cities is now at its worst since the housing market boom in 2008.

Student housing rents are rising, causing discontent amongst current students and graduates. There have been warnings of a critical shortage in student housing which could lead to a 10% rise in rents.

Rental conditions for students has led to the rising number of protests against rent, such as those seen at UCL and the University of London Halls, during Princess Anne’s visit.

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Michele Theil