Renters are increasingly looking further afield to set up home

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2024

Abbey Wood, Crystal Palace & Woolwich are among London’s up-and-coming hotspots. 

A new analysis from flatshare site, SpareRoom, has revealed the up-and-coming London rental hotspots, with properties further away from Central London skyrocketing in popularity.

Comparing the top most searched-for London rental locations in 2023 vs 2022, the biggest climbers within the rankings were Abbey Wood (up 41 places from 99 to 58), Forest Gate (up 24 places from 86 to 62), and Crystal Palace (up 23 places from 90 to 67).

In the past two years, searches for properties in Abbey Wood have more than tripled at 210%, whilst searches for Forest Gate properties were up 157%.

The top ten biggest ‘climber’ locations tend to be between 7-11 miles from Central London, highlighting a growing demand for properties further from the capital’s centre. Interestingly they’re also some of the cheapest areas to rent in the capital.

These locations not only benefit from lower rent costs but are also increasingly well-connected, with the Elizabeth Line serving many of the areas, including Abbey Wood and Forest Gate.

On the other hand, demand for areas within three miles of Central London are quickly decreasing, as well as in some previous rental hotspots such as Camden Town, where the number of searches has dropped 45% in the past year.

Looking at the 10 overall most searched-for areas of London, Clapham still takes the top spot based on the volume of searches, however, the total number of searches has decreased by a third (33%) YoY. Similarly, whilst Islington, Canary Wharf and Battersea all remain in the top 10, each of these popular locations has fallen in the rankings, with Fulham leaving the top 10 completely.

On the other hand, Wembley has entered the top ten, climbing six places from 11 to 5 in the space of a year. Hackney, Stratford, Ealing and Greenwich are other top 10 areas that have also seen an increase.

And many are venturing even further afield with towns and cities outside of London also increasing in popularity, likely due to the installation of the Elizabeth line. Searches for properties in Southall more than tripled between 2021 and 2023, rising by 210%, whilst searches in Ilford more than doubled at 128%. Other Elizabeth line commuter hotspots include Slough (+87%), Romford (+77%), Maidenhead (+69%) and Reading (+51%).

Nationwide trends

As with the increase in renters searching for properties outside of Central London, nationwide data from SpareRoom suggests a similar trend in renters looking to cheaper neighbouring cities outside the likes of Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester.

Yo2Y searches for properties in Stockport, Warrington and Bolton have risen by 88%, 62% and 56% respectively, whilst Wolverhampton (+63%) and Bradford (+63%) were other increasingly popular cities that neighbour a major hub.

Matt Hutchinson, Director at SpareRoom said: “Our search data has highlighted changing priorities for both London and UK-wide renters, with proximity to major city centres becoming a less significant factor in the search for a room.

"Renters are increasingly looking at locations further out to set up home, and within London, the likes of Abbey Wood and Crystal Palace are real hotspots at the minute, with an abundance of green space and easy access to the city.”

Via @PropertyReporter