Britain may be a nation of homeowners, but its capital is a city of tenants. In 2012, for the first time in decades, a majority of the capital's homes weren't occupied by the people who owned them: a majority of its households now rent.
The joke's on them, then, because London rents are horrible. Check out this graphic from the book London: The Information Capital, which shows that even in outlying parts of town, a two-bedroom flat will set you back by well over £1,000 a month. In the centre, it can be two or three times that:
Note too that, for all the East End's hipsterfication, it's still a fair bit cheaper than West London. That said, the accompanying map shows that the posh bits of West London were among the few parts of the capital which saw rents fall in the year to last spring. So, oddly, did the areas around the Olympic Park at the eastern edge of Hackney.
Don't get too excited, though, because the vast, vast, majority of the city’s tenants have seen their rents increase: the East End, in particularly, remains red hot. And that trend seems unlikely to stop. From Londonist:
There are nearly 10 tenants chasing every London rental property, according to information released by a network of estate agents.
You won’t be surprised to learn, being intelligent folk who know exactly what happens in a free market with an imbalance of supply and demand, rents have risen 9% year on year. This takes the average London rent, according to Sequence, whose London sales and letting agent arm trades as Barnard Marcus, to £1,591.
On the upside, if you happen to be sitting on a buy-to-let property empire, you've pretty much got it made. Renters' loss is rentiers' gain.
London: The Information Capital by James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti is published today by Particular Books.