Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Greg Pitcher

Revealed: the five London postcodes where rents are rising fastest — with a third or more added to the price

Rents across London are rising to record highs each month, with the average monthly cost of a room now topping £1,000 per month in 44 out of 117 postcodes.

But in five of the capital's postcodes these rent hikes have been even more punishing than the rest — with the average monthly cost of renting a room soaring by a third or more in just a year, data shared exclusively with Homes & Property reveals.

Figures from flatshare portal SpareRoom showed that house sharers in these neighbourhoods will have to fork out hundreds of extra pounds a month if they wish to stay living in the same area as a year ago.

The five London neighbourhoods where rent is growing quickest


Increase in average room rent in the year to Q3 2023

W8 (Kensington)


NW7 (Mill Hill)


SE28 (Thamesmead)


N2 (East Finchley)


WC2 (West End)


Source: SpareRoom

Kensington, W8: wealthy tenants absorb rent rises

The biggest rent hike was in Kensington’s W8 postcode, where monthly costs jumped by an astonishing 45 per cent in the year to Q3 2023 - an additional £509 per month, or £6,108 per year. This puts the new average room rent in the area at £1,645pcm.

Federico Young, lettings director at Winkworth’s Kensington branch, said bidding wars have become increasingly common in the area in the past year as more and more landlords decide to sell properties rather than continuing to let them out, reducing the number of homes available as demand stays strong.

High incomes in the area have allowed prices to continue soaring as supply tightened.

£1,645pcm: the average room rent in Kensington, W8. That’s up 45% compared to last year (Daniel Lynch)

“Tenants have realised it is cheaper to stay where they are and accept price rises than take on the costs of moving elsewhere,” Young added.

Mill Hill, NW7: would-be first-time buyers

However it is not only at the prime end of the capital’s housing market that rents have soared. NW7 (Mill Hill) saw a 38 per cent hike, according to SpareRoom, taking the postcode from within the 10 cheapest a year ago to outside the 50 cheapest in the most recent table.

The average rent is now £910pcm, a rise of £250pcm.

Mark Nassabo, office manager at local agents Cosway Estates, says interest has soared in the north London district in recent months.

“Tenants are not leaving, while other couples who might have been first-time buyers in another market are looking to rent.

“People are also coming out of Hampstead for more affordability. We have good commuter links with the Thameslink station. Yet there is a lack of supply, availability of properties is low.”

Mill Hill has seen a lot of development recently, Nassabo adds, and some buyers of new-build properties are letting them out to capitalise on soaring rents.

Thamesmead, SE28: the Crossrail effect

£867pcm: the average room rent in Thamesmead, SE28, an increase of 36 per cent in a year (Daniel Lynch)

Elsewhere, tenants were typically paying £867pcm for a room in SE28 (Thamesmead), which is 36 per cent more than 12 months earlier.

George Bontoft, branch partner at agents Robinson Jackson, says the opening of Abbey Wood Elizabeth Line station last year made a huge impact on demand for rental properties in the area.

“We get a lot of people coming to the area looking for the quick link into central London but more affordable housing,” he says. “It’s got to the point where we sometimes agree terms with a landlord and take prospective tenants around later that same day.”

East Finchley, N2: race for space reversed

£986pcm: the new average room rent in East Finchley (Juliet Murphy)

Renters are also faced with a 36 per cent hike in costs in N2 (East Finchley) with room rents jumping from £727pcm to £986pcm.

Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agents Benham and Reeves, says the reversal of the pandemic exodus from the capital has overloaded demand for space in this area.

“Now that normality has returned, so too have the capital’s tenants. East Finchley provides a best-of-both-worlds option.

"The area lies within close proximity of Hampstead Heath, Highgate Woods, Alexandra Park and a number of other green areas. There are numerous golf clubs and other clubs for sporting pursuits. But despite this abundance of outdoor space, the area lies just 20 minutes from the city centre via a direct Tube.”

Central London, WC2: student boom

£1,591pcm: the average rent in the WC2 postcodes, which cover Bloomsbury and Covent Garden (Daniel Lynch)

The swathe of central London with WC2 postcodes saw a 32 per cent hike in the past year, to £1,591pcm.

Daniel Fisher, regional lettings director at Chestertons, says this area has long enjoyed popularity among a range of demographics.

“Besides corporate tenants, rental prices are driven by demand from students who need to stay in close proximity to some of the area’s leading universities,” he adds.

Twenty-two postcodes saw the price of a typical room rise by at least a fifth in the last year, according to the SpareRoom figures. Just 10 of 117 districts measured saw single-figure percentage growth. None saw costs drop.

South Kensington’s SW7 became the costliest place to rent in the latest period, with a typical price tag of £1,754 per month, up more than a quarter in a year.

Meanwhile the latest data showed no postcodes remained with average room rents below £750. Edmonton’s N18 district came in as the most affordable but the monthly price of a spot in a typical shared house still rose by £97 in the past year to £755.

The five London neighbourhoods where rent is growing slowest


Increase in average room rent in the year to Q3 2023

SE11 (Kennington)


NW8 (St John’s Wood)


SW13 (Barnes)


W2 (Bayswater)


N20 (Whetstone)


Source: SpareRoom

The rental crisis has been raging for some time in the capital and shows no sign of abating.

Figures from Rightmove this month showed the average asking rent for a home in inner London had reached a new record of £3,124 per month, with advertised prices up almost 12 per cent since last year in central boroughs.

Meanwhile a recent report from Hamptons warned that rents in the capital could rise by 25 per cent by 2026, growing twice as fast as house prices.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.