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Generation Rent: London is home to nearly a fifth of the UK's rental accommodation

Helen Cahill
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Renting is the only option for many Londoners (Source: Getty)

London is now home to almost a fifth of the rental properties in the UK, but it accounts for nearly half of the total value of these households.

There are 1,048,000 houses in the private rented sector in London, almost a fifth of the 5.3m in Britain as a whole. But the value of this housing is now £558bn, which is 44 per cent of the total £1.3 trillion value of the sector.

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The figures from Kent Reliance underscore London's growing rental market, as buying a property becomes increasingly difficult for many Londoners.

But renting in London is also expensive, with the average rent for the capital now £1,705 per month, more than double the British average of £881 per month. This means landlords in London are raking in £1.8bn in total each month.

Landlords, however, have not been satisfied with their lot recently. A series of government measures have been disquieting the sector. In April this year, the rate of stamp duty was increased for people buying second homes, and in his Autumn Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond abolished letting agents' fees for renters, leaving landlords to pick up the bill.

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Andy Golding, chief executive OneSavings Bank, said: "Property investors have had to roll with the punches in 2016. The stamp duty levy clearly took its toll on the market, and combined with the forthcoming tax changes, landlords have felt at the mercy of the political agenda.

"But confidence is returning as landlords take action to limit the damages to their finances. The use of limited companies is soaring, and rents are increasing, even after one of the biggest surges in rental supply in recent history."

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