Rents fall for roomies in London but rise slightly across the UK

Rents fall for roomies in London but rise slightly across the UK

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate


Average rents for rooms in London fell by 8%, in the last three months of 2020 as renters start to think twice about living in the capital during the pandemic, quarterly rental data has revealed.

Based on analysis of more than 450,000 room listings, SpareRoom reported that rents plummeted year on year from £781 a month in the last quarter of 2019 to £715 over the same period last year.

Room rents were down year on year with Zone 1 postcodes seeing the sharpest falls. Eight out of the 10 postcodes where rents fell most sharply were in Zone 1 – with the EC postcode at -19%, followed by WC at -16% and W at -12 seeing the biggest falls.

The flat-sharing site also revealed that 27% of renters in London plan to move after the pandemic comes to an end, with 49% intending to leave the capital altogether.

Average prices up in the rest of the UK

The picture across the rest of the UK was markedly different from rental prices in capital, with rents up, on average, by 2% over the year.

Across all UK regions, East Anglia (£493 to £511), Northern Ireland (£378 to £363) and Yorkshire & Humberside (£428 to £412) saw the biggest increase in rents year on year, all up by 4%.

The most expensive areas to for monthly rent outside London at the end of 2020 were Twickenham (£688), Kingston upon Thames (£658) and Enfield (£644) – just a short commute from London.

Where can I get a bargain rental in London?

The cheapest areas to rent a room in London were SE2/Abbey Wood (£536 a month), followed by E6/East Ham (£545) and N18/Upper Edmonton (£551).

Outside Zones 1 and 2, the postcodes where tenants have seen the biggest increase in rent over the year are SE20 (Penge) and N12 (North Finchley), both up 8%. This was followed by E4 (Chingford), up 5%, and SE7 (Charlton), up 4%.

East London was the most popular area to rent, based on the number of room ads in each area – topping the charts were E1 (Shoreditch/Whitechapel), E14 (Canary Wharf/Docklands) and E2 (Bethnal Green).

Where’s is it cheapest to rent outside London?

Northern Ireland was the hotspot for the cheapest rooms to rent at the end of 2020. Although samples were small, you could find a room in Bangor for £306 a month, in Newtownabbey at £322 and Craigavon (including Lurgan & Portadown) at £334 a month.

Just 12 out of the UK’s 50 largest towns and cities saw room rents fall year on year.

Outside London, Birmingham saw the biggest drop in the cost of renting a room at - 6% (from £438 to £413), followed by Edinburgh at -5% (from £581 to £550).

Find out how your on-time rent payments can count towards your credit score.

Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

Rents fall for roomies in London but rise slightly across the UK Rents fall for roomies in London but rise slightly across the UK