New analysis shows London rents spiraling out of reach of median income

The average rent for a two-bed home in the capital will hit £2,007 a month by January 2020 if rents continue to rise at their current pace, according to my analysis of Valuation Office Agency data. That would mean a single earner household would need to earn almost £120,000 a year for their rent to be affordable by 2020.

The average private rent for a 2-bed home grew by 0.42% a month between November 2004 to March 2015. That means that the average rent for a 2-bed London home in 2015 is now £7,700 a year more than in November 2004.

Modelling, based on the average rate of rent inflation over the past 11 years found that if the rate of rent growth continues the average 2-bed private rent in London will hit £2,007 a month in January 2020 with a one bed property hitting £2,010 by 2025.

These figures show just how broken the London rental market has become. We desperately need to call time on ever increasing rents, which are driving many people into poverty or out of the capital altogether.

I secured the data until 2011 in a written question to the Mayor, the data from June 2011 onwards is published on the VOA website. My projections show:

Rent (forecast)
  1 bed 2 bed 3 bed 4+ bed
Nov-04 754 927 1,144 1,790
Nov-05 793 1,036 1,261 1,677
Nov-06 884 1,083 1,313 1,668
Nov-07 984 1,248 1,473 1,993
Nov-08 971 1,252 1,508 1,928
Nov-09 1,053 1,313 1,694 2,175
Nov-10 971 1,231 1,521 2,522
Jun-11 1,073 1,360 1,689 2,629
Mar-12 1,089 1,383 1,720 2,644
Mar-13 1,177 1,495 1,833 2,799
Mar-14 1,173 1,480 1,881 2,875
Mar-15 1,246 1,569 2,038 3,213
Jan-16 1,298 1,637 2,135 3,368
Jan-17 1,362 1,723 2,258 3,564
Jan-18 1,430 1,813 2,388 3,772
Jan-19 1,501 1,907 2,525 3,992
Jan-20 1,576 2,007 2,670 4,224
Jan-21 1,654 2,112 2,823 4,470
Jan-22 1,737 2,222 2,986 4,731
Jan-23 1,823 2,338 3,157 5,006
Jan-24 1,914 2,460 3,339 5,298
Jan-25 2,010 2,589 3,531 5,606

Assuming housing charity Shelter’s rule that a household should not spend more than a third of their net income on rent, it is estimated that by 2020 a single earner household would need a pre-tax salary of £118,240 to afford the average two-bed flat in the capital. If the rent was split evenly between two earners, each would need a salary of £49,655 per year. The median London income is currently £35,069.

There’s no way that rents consistently rising faster than wages is sustainable in the long term.

The next Mayor of London has a mammoth task to get London’s housing market under control. What’s clear is that Boris Johnson’s soft touch approach to housing has seen rents rocket and standards deteriorate, pricing many low and middle income people out of the capital.

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About nickygavron

Former Deputy Mayor for London, London Assembly Member, Chair of Planning Committee, and Labour Spokesperson for Planning
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