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38% of London boroughs uninhabitable for renters – here’s the worst

The latest research from ideal flatmate has looked at just how hard it is to survive in the capital’s rental market and where across London has become uninhabitable due to increasing rents and inadequate wage growth.

ideal flatmate looked at the average monthly income after tax for the residents in each borough excluding the City of London. They then calculated the basic outgoings that each person needs to live and work in the capital – the cost of renting a one bedroom flat, the cost of a travel ticket, a very basic food budget, electricity, water and gas, council tax and internet and phone bill. The research does not include other basic costs of living such as clothing or leisure spend.

The data shows that the cost of living in London accounts for all, or more, of the money on offer in 12 out of 32 London boroughs, with a further 13 seeing the cost of living account for 90% or more of the average wage.

London’s most notoriously expensive borough tops the list as London’s most uninhabitable, with Kensington and Chelsea home to a basic cost of living of £2,452 a month, 117% of the average monthly net pay in the borough.

The London Borough of Brent isn’t far behind, with the monthly cost of living reaching 116% of the average monthly pay of £1,587 for those living in the borough.

Hackney, Hounslow, Enfield, Newham, Camden, Ealing, Haringey, Barnet, Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham are all also home to a cost of living that accounts for all, or more, of the average monthly earnings for those in the borough.

A further 13 boroughs saw the cost of living exceed 90% but there is some hope for the capital’s tenants.

The cost of living in Bromley hit £1,597, just 80% of the average monthly net income of £2,002, making it the most affordable place to rent in London.

Wandsworth, Bexley, Havering, Croydon, Richmond and perhaps surprisingly, Hammersmith and Fulham, all saw the cost of living sit at below 90% of the monthly average wage for residents in these boroughs.

Co-founder of ideal flatmate, Tom Gatzen, commented:

“While Brexit uncertainty has seen a slow in the sales market, we’ve continued to see the level of London rents climb by nearly 5% on an annual basis.

Although unemployment has been falling and wage growth has been on the up, this research demonstrates how vast the reality gap still is between the money available and the cost of living in London. We’ve only looked at the very basics and this research hasn’t factored in things like clothing and leisure but of course, the main outgoing driving this unaffordability is the price of rents.

With such high levels of unaffordability across the capital, it’s no wonder we’ve seen such a surge in demand for room shares. The reality for those looking to rent in London is to pay through the nose, share with a friend or partner, or to move in with people in the same situation.

Luckily, the latter has changed drastically in a few short years and it is no longer the daunting experience it once was, thanks to greater compatibility checks ensuring that it isn’t just the property that is right for a tenant, but the people they’re sharing with as well.”

Borough
Average Monthly Wage
Average Rent (1 bed)
Monthly Travel Card
Food
Elec, gas, water
Council Tax
Internet & phone
All
Percentage of Pay
Kensington and Chelsea
£2,102
£1,950
£134.80
£30
£146
£113.09
£77
£2,452
117%
Brent
£1,587
£1,250
£194.00
£30
£146
£150.69
£77
£1,849
116%
Hackney
£1,793
£1,495
£158.30
£30
£146
£138.42
£77
£2,046
114%
Hounslow
£1,740
£1,300
£246.60
£30
£146
£147.21
£77
£1,948
112%
Enfield
£1,585
£1,100
£246.60
£30
£146
£156.62
£77
£1,757
111%
Newham
£1,585
£1,200
£158.30
£30
£146
£126.75
£77
£1,739
110%
Camden
£2,008
£1,582
£134.80
£30
£146
£149.88
£77
£2,121
106%
Ealing
£1,704
£1,200
£158.30
£30
£146
£145.01
£77
£1,757
103%
Haringey
£1,772
£1,250
£158.30
£30
£146
£158.68
£77
£1,821
103%
Barnet
£1,741
£1,150
£230.40
£30
£146
£149.39
£77
£1,784
102%
Waltham Forest
£1,721
£1,075
£230.40
£30
£146
£162.62
£77
£1,722
100%
Barking and Dagenham
£1,585
£950
£230.40
£30
£146
£150.42
£77
£1,585
100%
Harrow
£1,746
£1,050
£246.60
£30
£146
£170.07
£77
£1,721
99%
Southwark
£1,885
£1,300
£158.30
£30
£146
£133.88
£77
£1,846
98%
Tower Hamlets
£1,990
£1,430
£134.80
£30
£146
£128.93
£77
£1,948
98%
Westminster
£2,367
£1,842
£134.80
£30
£146
£71.54
£77
£2,302
97%
Islington
£2,152
£1,517
£158.30
£30
£146
£143.94
£77
£2,073
96%
Lewisham
£1,782
£1,100
£194.00
£30
£146
£150.85
£77
£1,699
95%
Hillingdon
£1,729
£1,000
£246.60
£30
£146
£141.69
£77
£1,642
95%
Merton
£1,900
£1,200
£194.00
£30
£146
£150.33
£77
£1,798
95%
Greenwich
£1,842
£1,150
£194.00
£30
£146
£143.93
£77
£1,742
95%
Lambeth
£1,970
£1,300
£158.30
£30
£146
£139.59
£77
£1,852
94%
Redbridge
£1,791
£990
£230.40
£30
£146
£156.07
£77
£1,630
91%
Kingston upon Thames
£1,987
£1,100
£246.60
£30
£146
£181.28
£77
£1,782
90%
Sutton
£1,754
£925
£230.40
£30
£146
£161.39
£77
£1,571
90%
Hammersmith and Fulham
£2,135
£1,400
£134.80
£30
£146
£102.91
£77
£1,892
89%
Richmond upon Thames
£2,127
£1,200
£246.60
£30
£146
£171.88
£77
£1,872
88%
Croydon
£1,783
£900
£246.60
£30
£146
£164.83
£77
£1,565
88%
Havering
£1,762
£875
£246.60
£30
£146
£166.96
£77
£1,542
88%
Bexley
£1,679
£800
£246.60
£30
£146
£159.91
£77
£1,460
87%
Wandsworth
£2,159
£1,365
£158.30
£30
£146
£75.10
£77
£1,852
86%
Bromley
£2,002
£950
£246.60
£30
£146
£146.28
£77
£1,597
80%

Shared by James Lockett

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