A Depressing New Study Reveals Just How Quickly Rents Are Rising In London

Alex Landon Alex Landon - Editor


Having a nice Thursday? These stats are here to ruin that…

In 1998, a poll found that 54% of Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. That’s a nice statistic, isn’t it? Firmly in the “ARGH NO WHY” screaming-cursing-crying category of statistics, however, is the latest news from GMB London, which has found that the average rent for a two bed flat in London has gone up 21.7% since 2011. Proving emphatically that statistics, like karma, are an absolute bitch.

Yup, you won’t be living here anytime soon…

Much like this bleak house price tube map, the new study paints a rather dreary picture of the London rental market. Data from 2011 to 2018 pegs the increase at that staggering 21.7%, with average rent for a two bedroom flat in the capital now standing at £1450 per month. And whilst wages have, in truth, risen in the same time period, the 9.1% jump can hardly be said to be keeping pace with rent increases.

Things aren’t exactly sunny in Greenwich, as their 50% rent rise proves…

Now, because you’re a glutton for punishment, you’re probably going to want to know the areas which have been worst hit by the increases, aren’t you? Step forward Greenwich, where that seven-year rent increase stands at an eye-watering 50% – I blame the O2 for that one. Faring similarly badly is the future end of the Bakerloo line, Lewisham, and on-the-rise eastern borough Newham, where the increase is 47.4% for both. In fact, 14 out of the 33 boroughs witnessed rent surges of more than 30% in those seven years (I did warn you it’d be depressing).


As you can probably guess, there’s no borough in which rents have fallen – and the areas with the lowest rent increases are those with residents who you’d imagine can best manage soaring rents. With an 8.7% increase, Kensington and Chelsea has been the least-affected borough, with the grubby, scrappy duo of Westminster (9.5%) and the City of London (13.5%) hot on their heels. In a shock to absolutely no-one, those are also the three boroughs with the highest average annual salary, so go figure.

Anyone else feel like it’s time to eat the rich?

Also published on Medium.

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