Millions of Londoners slip into housing nightmare as rents are now higher than before pandemic while landlords pull out
All UK regions experienced year on year room rent increases in February, with London seeing the biggest increases since before the pandemic began.
London average room rents now stand at £796 per month, having reached lows of £703 (March 2021) during the pandemic, according to the data by SpareRoom, shared with City A.M. this morning.
These rent increases are happening at a time when bills are on the up, with the UK set to experience the biggest financial squeeze in 60 years.
All London regions have experienced annual room rent increases, with the most central areas seeing the biggest change.
West Central and East Central London were both up a huge 26 per cent comparing February 2022 with February 2021.
When we look at postcode level, W1 (West End / Soho) is up 33 per cent, followed by NW8 (St John’s Wood) and SW1 (Westminster / Belgravia / Pimlico) both up 31 per cent.
Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director, told City A.M. this morning: “London saw rents drop by unprecedented amounts over the course of the pandemic.”
“However, with demand increasing at the end of 2021, and continuing to grow at the start of 2022, we’re seeing those rents rise again, in some cases by significant amounts. That’s going to hit renters hard,” he added.
“Almost a third of Londoners already spend over half their take home pay on rent.”Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director,
“With a cost of living crisis ramping up as we speak, and set to deepen over the coming months, many renters will be worried about making ends meet,” Hutchinson stressed.
Supply down by half
Rents may be up but supply is still down across the UK YOY (-32 per cent), comparing February 2022 with 2021 London supply is down by 53 per cent, the biggest drop across all UK regions.
This in part will be down to trust in the market, 42 per cent of London landlords still don’t have confidence in the rental market.
Of these London landlords, 20 per cent plan to leave the rental market and 11 per cent plan to reduce their portfolio.
Across the UK as a whole, room rents were up 4 per cent YOY with none of the UK’s 50 largest towns/cities experiencing a rent drop.
Sunderland saw the biggest increases (up 23 per cent), followed by Belfast and Glasgow (both up 17 per cent).