YOUNG professionals struggling to get on the housing ladder is not news. Renting, particularly in London, is just a fact of life for many of us – at least while we are working on those deposits. The problem with renting, however, is that it is getting more and more expensive.
Indeed, research out this week shows that average rents in London are up by 7.9 per cent since last year. And with inflation soaring, finding a good deal is becoming more important. While renting within the walls of greater London will always be a trade-off between cost, commuting time and space, ever so often areas spring up offering the perfect combo. Shoreditch is the perfect example. It wasn’t that long ago that the area felt undiscovered and offered residents great value for money.
With this aim in mind, we asked London’s letting experts for their verdict. Where were are their top “value for money” rental spots?
Move here if you like, but can’t afford... Notting Hill
Agent: Virginia Skilbeck of Douglas and Gordon says: “Oxford Gardens is on Notting Hill’s doorstep with the same chilled out and trendy feel, access to shops bars and restaurants – just at a slightly lower price.”
Average rent: £387 pw (one bed), £512 pw (two bed)
Average council tax: £1,317.00 per household.
Commute: The area is close to Ladbroke Grove tube station on the Hammersmith and City line, getting you to Liverpool Street in 30 minutes.
Attractions: The comforts and attractions of Notting Hill are never far away, including the famous Portobello Road and its market. There are pockets of green space everywhere. Not to mention a fair few public and private tennis courts.
Trivia: Trinny Woodall and Fern Cotton are rumoured to live in the area. David Cameron did too, you know, before he moved to Downing Street.
Resident: Amy Dixon of Oxford Gardens says: “It’s quite like Notting Hill, just with a younger crowd because it’s more affordable. It’s sort of the sneaky way of getting into the borough of Kensington and Chelsea at lower cost. It’s really lovely. There’s plenty of green space and quirky little shops.”
Move here if you like, but can’t afford... Fulham
Agent: Alexandra Best-Shaw of Douglas and Gordon says: “Property in W6 is cheaper than that in the neighbouring postcodes, meaning young professionals can easily trade up and get more space for their money.”
Average rent: £320 pw (one bed), £385 pw (two bed).
Average council tax: £1,165.00 per household.
Commute: With five tube lines and an overline service it’s really easy to get into the city. The area offers the Hammersmith and City, the District and Piccadilly lines.
Attractions: The River Cafe on Thames Wharf and The Dove on the Upper Mall are the local’s favourite watering holes. Ravenscourt Park isn’t far away, nor is Brook Green for a bit of green space. Not to forget the Hammersmith Apollo for live comedy.
Trivia: Lily Allen was born here.
Resident: Paul Hinds of Loris Road says: “My commute is the envy of all my colleagues and with so many great pubs and restaurants, you have to remind yourself that there are other parts of London to go to.”
Move here if you like, but can’t afford... Shoreditch
Agent: Kye Wheatley of Keatens says: “The demographic of residents in Bethnal Green has completely changed in the last decade. In the 90s most buyers were East End locals. Now it attracts loads of City folk.”
Average rent: £300 pw (one bed) £400 pw (two bed).
Average council tax: £1,004.00 per household.
Commute: The Central line gets you to Bank in 5 mins.
Attractions: With an increasing number of good restaurants, Victoria Park and art galleries springing up in its old factory building, the area is more desirable than you would imagine.
Trivia: Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of the Libertines used to live here and play in the Albion Rooms.
Resident: Bryce Keane of Kenilworth Road says: “You always get the odd “East naysayer” but, to me, it’s got everything. With Brick Lane, Shoreditch and Dalston make for great nightlife. While funky cafes and boutiques and back streets full of fab boozers makes the area still feel fairly undiscovered.”
Move here if you like, but can’t afford... Chelsea
Agent: Adam Bishop of Hamptons International says: “Pimlico remains home to loads of MPs due to its proximity to Westminster. It offers relatively affordable prices compared to neighbouring Chelsea and Belgravia.”
Average rent: £380 pw (one bed) £500 pw (two bed).
Average council tax: £783.00 per household.
Commute: Victoria tube station is on the District and Circle line that takes you straight into the City.
Attractions: Ten minutes from Sloane square with Green Park and St. James Park, the area has an elegant and refined feel. For shopping there is House of Fraser on Victoria Street.
Trivia: Thomas Cubbitt designed most of the area around 1840.
Resident: Samantha Cook of Warwick Square says: "I love Pimlico. It's leafy, central – you can get anywhere from here quickly – but also feels totally safe. There are tons of great restaurants and bars. You've got everything and it's much cheaper than Belgravia."
Move here if you would like to... sleep more
Agent: Eleanor Bleek of Hamptons says: “Renting in the City offers a fantastic lifestyle since there are so many excellent parts, restaurants and shops nearby.”
Average rent: £375 pw (one bed), £520 pw (two bed)
Average council tax: £960.00 per household.
Commute: No more than a little stroll if you’re based in the City. While those housed in Canary Wharf can jump on the DLR and get there in 15 minutes.
Attractions: Spitalfields market, the shopping centre One New Change and Shoreditch High Street makes for peaceful weekend ambling. The old City favourites of Hoxton grill, Redhook and Modern Pantry offer great evening dining.
Trivia: The City has its very own police force.
Resident: Ben Williams of Bishopsgate says: "There’s something very satisfying about knowing that you never have to get the tube to work again, especially in the summer when the tube is unbearable.”