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Rent in London is now so cheap...

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jamesheet49

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...especially when compared to property prices.

Most people seem to think London is too expensive, but that is only because they look at the property prices. Looking at Rightmove, 1 bed flats in the best places for transport, for example Stratford and Surbiton, can now be had for around £1,200 per month. There's no point nowadays commuting from places like Basingstoke or Reading to save on rent as you will only be saving about £100-£200 per month. Even Bristol can be £800-£900 per month.
 
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Andrew S

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£1200 per month is still quite a lot to pay for somewhere like Surbiton, I'd say. I work in Central London, my take home pay is around £1600 per month. I couldn't afford to be paying that much, and commute in.
 

DarloRich

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1 bed flats in the best places for transport, for example Stratford and Surbiton, can now be had for around £1,200 per month.


What. A. Bargain! by comparison:

£1200 PCM in Milton Keynes get you anything from a fancy ( aka over priced) CMK 2 bed flat to a three bed estate house. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£750-850 pcm

£1200 PCM in Darlington is unavailable. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£450-525 pcm ( thats gone up something like £50/75 in 10 years)

£1200 PCM in Hartlepool is unavailable. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£350-450 pcm

Also that figure is SO much more than my mortgage!
 

ainsworth74

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I'm sorry, £1,200pm for a one bedroom flat is 'cheap'?! Pull the other one :lol:

It might not be to bad compared to London prices in general but 'cheap'? It most certainly is not.

In my line of work I deal with something called Local Housing Allowance which is basically the money that the government will pay towards someone's rent when then live in private rented accommodation (via either their Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Housing Costs element). It's based on what are called Broad Rental Market Areas (basically chunks of the country that are supposed to represent the local housing 'market') and then set at the 30th percentile for rents in that area (so it should cover a decent range of rents but by no means all).

I always find it quite amusing to compared LHA rates in my area (the Teesside BRMA) with those in the various London BRMAs. For instance. In Teesside if you need a four bedroom property you can get up to £673 per month towards you rent. Meanwhile in the Inner East London BRMA (sort of Hackney, Stepney, Bethnal Green ish) someone needing one bedroom could get up to £1,280 per month. That's right slightly more than double the four bedroom rate in Teesside. Even in somewhere like Leeds BRMA the four bedroom rate is less than a one bedroom in London (£897pm) whilst Southern Greater Manchester BRMA (sort of Stockport, Altrincham, Cheadle ish) the four bedroom rate just cracks £1,000 pm at £1,096.

So perhaps £1,200 is towards the bottom end of the scale in London but it is by no means 'cheap'.
 

jamesheet49

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£1200 per month is still quite a lot to pay for somewhere like Surbiton, I'd say. I work in Central London, my take home pay is around £1600 per month. I couldn't afford to be paying that much, and commute in.

If you are on your own, house sharing is really the only option for most, but for couples, renting a flat even in such traditionally "expensive" areas is now viable, whereas buying a flat would be unrealistic. Rents in London have probably doubled in the last 25 years, roughly in line with wages, whereas property prices have probably gone up maybe 500-600%!

What. A. Bargain! by comparison:

£1200 PCM in Milton Keynes get you anything from a fancy ( aka over priced) CMK 2 bed flat to a three bed estate house. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£750-850 pcm

£1200 PCM in Darlington is unavailable. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£450-525 pcm ( thats gone up something like £50/75 in 10 years)

£1200 PCM in Hartlepool is unavailable. A 2 bed terrace like mine is c.£350-450 pcm

Also that figure is SO much more than my mortgage!

If you can get a job you like in the North East or, even better, have a remote job, and you don't mind living in that area, then fair dos, it is a no-brainer. But if you need or want to work in London, then renting a complete flat is a realistic option, especially if you are in a couple. All the publicity has been about sky high property prices, ignoring the fact that rents haven't gone up by anything like as much. Renting in Milton Keynes and commuting in is probably not worth it, especially if two people have to do that.

(By the way, how much will your mortgage be if interest rates go up to a historically more typical rate, say 7.5%?)
 
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Andrew S

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If you are on your own, house sharing is really the only option for most
For many, yes. There are little known ways to rent self contained flats in London for less than the £1200 you quote. My one bedroom flat is less than half that. Admittedly it is not an area many would flock to, and I don't intend to be around here forever. There are similar options at around £900 in Clapham, though, for example.
 

jamesheet49

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For many, yes. There are little known ways to rent self contained flats in London for less than the £1200 you quote. My one bedroom flat is less than half that. Admittedly it is not an area many would flock to, and I don't intend to be around here forever. There are similar options at around £900 in Clapham, though, for example.

Indeed, and I deliberately chose relatively desirable locations. There are of course studios and bedsits available if you want to save money.
 

nlogax

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Looking at Rightmove, 1 bed flats in the best places for transport, for example Stratford and Surbiton, can now be had for around £1,200 per month. There's no point nowadays commuting from places like Basingstoke or Reading to save on rent as you will only be saving about £100-£200 per month. Even Bristol can be £800-£900 per month.

'Cheap' is relative. I could rent out my Surbiton property for the same amount of money now as I could have done a decade ago. There's been a slight rise during those intervening ten years but economically we are now where we are. My view is it's less about being 'cheap', more about being 'slightly more affordable'.
 

jamesheet49

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'Cheap' is relative. I could rent out my Surbiton property for the same amount of money now as I could have done a decade ago. There's been a slight rise during those intervening ten years but economically we are now where we are. My view is it's less about being 'cheap', more about being 'slightly more affordable'.

If the value of the property has gone up substantially over that time, then that emphasizes how good value renting is in comparison to buying nowadays. Landlords have seen their yields slashed, yet they continue to hang on to properties in the hope of increasing capital gain.
 

najaB

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Looking at Rightmove, 1 bed flats in the best places for transport, for example Stratford and Surbiton, can now be had for around £1,200 per month.
in other parts of the country that would get you a several bedroom detached house. So I wouldn't say that London is cheap!
 

Spartacus

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What this really means is that London's still very expensive, while places within a commutable distance are just expensive; you can get a one bed modern apartment in the centre of Leeds for half what you're looking at there, and that's STILL expensive and pretty unaffordable by local standards when you can easily pay less than £1,000 pcm for a 4 bed detached house!
 

Bertie the bus

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If you are on your own, house sharing is really the only option for most, but for couples, renting a flat even in such traditionally "expensive" areas is now viable, whereas buying a flat would be unrealistic.
Stratford isn’t a traditionally expensive area. When I knew it it was a complete dump. That was pre-Olympics so things might have changed a little but to say it is a traditionally expensive area is simply wrong. Surbiton isn’t either. I used to live 2 stops from there and rentals were modest compared to most of London.
 

jamesheet49

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Stratford isn’t a traditionally expensive area. When I knew it it was a complete dump. That was pre-Olympics so things might have changed a little but to say it is a traditionally expensive area is simply wrong. Surbiton isn’t either. I used to live 2 stops from there and rentals were modest compared to most of London.

Yes, Stratford was historically very run down (to say the least) but it has become as expensive (from a property price point of view) as some traditionally "posh" places. Surbiton has always been expensive compared to other areas at similar distance from the centre, being 12 minutes from Waterloo on non-stop trains, especially on the river roads. Places nearby like Chessington and Tolworth are considerably cheaper, being much more run down and having a much worse train service.
 

nlogax

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Surbiton has always been expensive compared to other areas at similar distance from the centre, being 12 minutes from Waterloo on non-stop trains, especially on the river roads. Places nearby like Chessington and Tolworth are considerably cheaper, being much more run down and having a much worse train service.

There's about a 100-150 pcm month difference between flats close to the station in central Surbiton and to equivalents about a mile out. Adjacency to the station is at a real premium here precisely because of the service frequency and reliability.
 

notlob.divad

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₤1200 is apparently cheap. Where as actually if you are on a minimum wage job, that would leave you with ₤72 of your gross income to live off each month. That is before any tax/NI/commuting costs have been paid.

Presumably the ₤1200 doesn't cover your utility bills, council tax etc.

Then there is food / clothing / actually having a life. Nevermind saving for the future, to get your own place.

What an absurd country the UK is, where that is considered a legitimate state of affairs. Even going halves with someone wouldn't really leave much wiggle room.
 

Trackman

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If I sold the flat in Lewisham, I could buy my semi-detached up North about four times over.
When I'm in Camden I always look in estate agents windows for a chuckle (usually Hotblack Desiato's as I pass it). Makes you think what kind of money people are making. Looking at some rental prices, these people need to set aside £70k a year before anything else!
 

S&CLER

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What is the cheapest area of London nowadays? I bought a flat (upper half of house with the back garden; the people downstairs had the front garden) in Hither Green, handy for the station and the 36 bus in 1976, and paid £10,300 (£1300 deposit and £9000 on a mortgage of just over twice my salary then); I sold it for over £20,000 in 1980 and dread to think what it would cost now. Hither Green always seemed to be one of the more affordable areas. Of course at that time mortgage interest rates were also soaring to 15% or more, so however much I paid off, it never seemed to reduce the amount outstanding. In 1971 I moved from Oxford, where I'd been paying £5 a week for digs, to London, paying £7 a week. That £2 seemed like a really heavy extra burden at the time. On the other hand, it was a bedsit in Orsett Terrace, Bayswater, with a fine view of the approaches from Royal Oak to Paddington, which was some consolation.
 

RJ

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If I sold the flat in Lewisham, I could buy my semi-detached up North about four times over.
When I'm in Camden I always look in estate agents windows for a chuckle (usually Hotblack Desiato's as I pass it). Makes you think what kind of money people are making. Looking at some rental prices, these people need to set aside £70k a year before anything else!

There are a lot of people with high salaries around, but a lot of people have also clocked onto ways to earn 4 figures a day with little time commitment. There's a sizeable market for properties at those prices!

...especially when compared to property prices.

Most people seem to think London is too expensive, but that is only because they look at the property prices. Looking at Rightmove, 1 bed flats in the best places for transport, for example Stratford and Surbiton, can now be had for around £1,200 per month. There's no point nowadays commuting from places like Basingstoke or Reading to save on rent as you will only be saving about £100-£200 per month. Even Bristol can be £800-£900 per month.
£1200 a month for a one bedroom flat is not cheap, even for London!
 

Andrew S

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It's more than three times what I pay to rent a one bedroom flat in a part of outer London. I guess Stratford and Surbiton are now expensive areas.
 

dosxuk

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I wonder how many of these "cheap" flats are only being let because they're unsellable at the moment because of the nonsense* with cladding and fire safety.

(*nonsense because it's the buildings that are unsafe, not the flats, yet it's the flat owners who are having to pay for the fixes, not the building owners or builders)
 

D365

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There are a lot of people with high salaries around, but a lot of people have also clocked onto ways to earn 4 figures a day with little time commitment. There's a sizeable market for properties at those prices!
My dream as an engineer..!
 

takno

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Indeed. It's more than three times what a two-bed flat would cost in Dundee, for example.
It's twice what I pay for three bedrooms in relatively central Edinburgh. I mean I don't have working hot water or heating, and nothing has been done to the place for 20 years, but it seems like we're really only talking about headline rates on this thread, rather than having a decent life
 

telstarbox

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What is the cheapest area of London nowadays? I bought a flat (upper half of house with the back garden; the people downstairs had the front garden) in Hither Green, handy for the station and the 36 bus in 1976, and paid £10,300 (£1300 deposit and £9000 on a mortgage of just over twice my salary then); I sold it for over £20,000 in 1980 and dread to think what it would cost now. Hither Green always seemed to be one of the more affordable areas. Of course at that time mortgage interest rates were also soaring to 15% or more, so however much I paid off, it never seemed to reduce the amount outstanding. In 1971 I moved from Oxford, where I'd been paying £5 a week for digs, to London, paying £7 a week. That £2 seemed like a really heavy extra burden at the time. On the other hand, it was a bedsit in Orsett Terrace, Bayswater, with a fine view of the approaches from Royal Oak to Paddington, which was some consolation.
Hither Green is about £300k for a flat now, although your mortgage rate could be as low as 2%. It's very popular with families as the schools and parks are good. Mitcham is relatively cheap.

If some level of WFH continues, there could be a rebalancing of prices between London suburbs and the "nicer" towns in the Home Counties.
 

telstarbox

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It varies quite a bit depending on the spec. If it's been recently renovated with underfloor heating etc then that will push the price up, if it "needs work" then the opposite. New builds are generally more spacious than 20 years ago due to Mayoral minimum space standards.
 
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