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.
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.
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.