The little known town of Erith in the borough of Bexley tops the list of the cheapest place to rent in the capital, with asking rents for a two-bedroom home averaging £1,003 per calendar month. This is less than half the London average of £2,049 for a similar property.
Neighbouring Bexleyheath, Sidcup and Blackfen – all in Bexley borough – are also in the top five cheapest areas to rent in London. Two-bedroom flats in all three areas are on offer for less than £1,090 a month. The redesign of Bexleyheath’s high street has also won the local council several awards for the way it combines pedestrians, cyclists and traffic, including buses.
Just north of the river, in the east London borough of Havering are another three areas that make the top 10 list of cheapest places to rent in the capital: Rainham, Harold Wood and Hornchurch.
Rainham and Hornchurch were listed as two of the most in-demand areas attracting renters priced out of inner London, earlier this year.
Located Zone 6, Rainham is just a 24-minute train ride into Fenchurch Street, making it ideal for City workers. Meanwhile, Hornchurch residents are practically guaranteed a seat when commuting at 8am on the District Line.
Harold Wood, currently on TfL Rail into Liverpool Street is set to be on the high-speed Elizabeth Line from 2018. This will provide links to Canary Wharf, Bond Street and Paddington in less than 45 minutes – and no doubt boost its popularity, too.
With rents averaging £1,137 a month, East Bedfont in Hounslow is the tenth cheapest area to rent in the capital, and the only part of west London area to make the list.
The average advertised price is £1955.36 for a two bedroom property, 3.2 per cent lower than a peak of £2,020 in the second quarter of 2016.
10 Cheapest Places To Rent A 2-Bedroom In London:
10) East Bedfont – £1,137 per month
9) Eltham – £1,1,36 per month
8) Wallington – £1,135 per month
7) Hornchurch – £1,117 per month
6) Harold Wood – £1,108 per month
5) Blackfen – £1,087
4) Sidcup – £1,072
3) Rainham – £1,065
2) Bexleyheath – £1,057
1) Erith – £1,003
Tenants now have increased choice in London where the number of properties available on the rental market rose 8 per cent. But new listings are down 5 per cent, as the period of time taken to let a property has increased by 15 per cent compared to this time last year.
Kilburn was named as the London area with the most available rental properties as a proportion of total housing stock.
Rightmove’s head of lettings Sam Mitchell comments: “Many thought that rental supply would constrict this year, as landlords sold up and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but clearly this isn’t happening yet. Perhaps landlords are remortgaging their buy-to-let properties instead, as they still feel it’s a better investment than looking to other industries.”
Mitchell added: “It could spell good news for tenants coming to the end of their lease as they might find there is slightly more choice than last year. Anyone hoping for a drop in prices due to the extra choice will be disappointed though as rents are following a very similar trend to previous years.”
The UK’s private rented sector, that includes the build to rent market, will be worth £70bn by 2021 with London gobbling up 65 per cent of the investment in the market, according to a new research by Knight Frank.
James Mannix, Head of Residential Capital Markets at Knight Frank, said: “The strength of the UK private rented sector has grown demonstrably in recent years. As consumer demand for affordable, flexible accommodation continues to rise, the sector is firmly establishing itself as a key opportunity for institutional grade investment, due to its long-term potential.”
“In order to enhance build-to-rent specifically, the main hurdles of planning policy and land supply must be addressed. With both issues being recognised in the recent housing white paper, we hope to see the government encourage more build-to-rent and help to better identify developable land.”
DMZ thinks that there are still many deals to be found in London if the renter (or buyer) is willing to move out of inner London and look at some peripheral areas. Although considered unfashionable, areas like Bexley and Sidcup have a wide variety of properties available and much more space compared to their affluent neighbours nearer City center.
Increasingly squeezed by government regulations, there could be an opportunity for London’s buy-to-let investors to get in early on these emerging areas. Consider the relatively cheap listing prices added to an ever-growing swell of demand – rental prices in these areas are likely to increase substantially over the next 5 years.