Guest post by Greg Perry
Getting value for money from accommodation in London might seem like trying to push water uphill – but the situation is evolving rapidly, thanks to the pressures of Covid-19. With more Londoners working from home than ever, there’s less demand for property within commuting distance of the city centre. This is thus driving down prices across the city to more manageable levels, and bolstering them outside the M25. Private rents fell by 7% on average year-on-year, with some areas experiencing much sharper falls of up to 34%.
The outskirts are where you’ll find the most value for money. You might face an hour or more on the tube in the morning – but if you’re only actually using the tube for one or two days a week, this might not be a concern. Many major employers have already indicated that working from home will be a phenomenon that will outlast the novel coronavirus, and thus it’s worth planning your rental activities with this in mind.
Fortunately, there is plenty of data available on average rental prices, courtesy of the SpareRoom Rental Index, which is updated every quarter. Government sources provide an alternative perspective on average prices.
Croydon & Purley
The transport links here are excellent from the city centre, where you can get a train from London Bridge to Purley in just over half an hour. This part of the city offers a mixture of Victorian and Edwardian houses, plus a few more modern flats in the town centre. There are looming five-bedroom family homes, which are rented out by homeowners working overseas – if you can split the rent a few ways, these properties often work out more affordable than a single one-bedroom flat.
The presence of a major international airport will reliably drive down property prices – but at the same time you’ll benefit from the convenience of travel. Uxbridge, Hillingdon, Hayes and West Drayton all fall in the lowest price bracket, according to the London Rents Map, and they all confer the useful advantage of easy access to the M40, making them perfect for those who often find themselves travelling to Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
Upper and Lower Edmunton offer the second and third cheapest rents in the city, according to the SpareRoom polling, with average rents on a spare room in a rental property sitting at £535 and £553 respectively. Clearly, if you’re looking for a place of your own, you can expect this figure to rise significantly.