Supply issues continuing to push up room rents

Posted on Friday, April 14, 2023

Despite a fall in demand for rooms over the past few months, short supply is continuing to apply upward pressure on rents with the average cost of a room up by 10% or more in every UK region compared to the start of 2022. 

New data from flatshare site, SpareRoom, revealed that average monthly room rents in the capital have now soared to £952, up 20% year-on-year. The London regions seeing the biggest increases YOY were WC, NW and E, all up 21% to £1,250, £965 and £926 respectively. For the first time ever there’s not a single London postcode with average monthly rents under £700.

Even traditionally cheaper areas like Abbey Wood (SE2) are becoming more expensive, due in part to their relative affordability, but also as a result of better transport links, thanks to the Elizabeth Line.

The number of London postcodes where the average room rent tops £1,000 a month more than quadrupled in the past year. There are now more than 30 postcode regions where the average is £1,000 or more, and Chelsea passed the £1,500 mark for the first time.

Taking a wider look across the country, UK room rents rose by 15% in the first quarter of 2023, compared to Q1 2022. North East and North West regions saw the biggest rent increases YOY after London, both up 16% when comparing Q1 2023 with Q1 2022.

Matt Hutchinson, Director at SpareRoom, comments:

“Although demand for rooms has fallen since the record highs at the end of 2022, it’s still above pre-pandemic levels. Combined with higher interest rates and an increased cost of living, that’s continuing to push rents up.

"Average rents rose by 10% or more in every UK region, every London region and almost every major town and city, compared to the start of 2022. There’s now not a single London postcode with an average monthly rent under £700.

"Demand is likely to fall a little over the course of the year, but unless something is done to stop the continuing decline in rental supply, things aren’t likely to improve much for renters. Government has to do much, much more to help, or the housing crisis will become a housing disaster.”

Via @PropertyReporter