The most – and least – affordable London boroughs for renters

About half of London is unaffordable for those on average salaries, but there is some good news for those who rent in the capital

couple unpacking in a new home
(Image credit: Getty/10'000 Hours)

London can be a tough place to survive on an average wage, but especially so for single people. New research conducted by flatshare platform Ideal Flatmate has looked into the average cost of a one-bed flat, utility bills and council tax, and basic food costs in relation to the average salaries of those living in different Lodnon boroughs. 

The results make for a sobering read – half of London is technically unaffordable for a single renter on an average wage wishing to live in a one-bedroom flat. Unsurprisingly, Kensington and Chelsea is the least affordable borough, with the average monthly living cost of £2,452 a month at 117 per cent of the average salary of the borough's residents. Hackney, Hounslow, Enfield, Newham, Camden, Ealing, Haringey, Barnet, Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham are all also home to a cost of living that accounts for all, or more, of the average monthly earnings for those in the borough. 

However, it's not all bad news for those who rent in London. There still are quite a few boroughs in the capital where making ends meet (and not being totally broke at the end of the month) is possible on an average wage. Hearteningly, not all of them are in the outer suburbs, either. Wandsworth, Bexley, Havering, Croydon, Richmond and Hammersmith and Fulham all have a cost of living that sits below 90 per cent of the monthly average wage for residents in these boroughs.

Still want to live in Camden (or even Kensington and Chelsea)? Be prepared to compromise on space, opting for a studio flat, or a flat share. Luckily, the way flat sharing works in London is changing, too, with online platforms such as Ideal Flatmate offering a matching service, so that you can live with people compatible with your lifestyle and preferences. 

Co-founder Tom Gatzen comments, 'Luckily, flat-sharing has changed drastically in a few short years and it is no longer the daunting experience it once was, thanks to greater compatibility checks ensuring that it isn’t just the property that is right for a tenant, but the people they’re sharing with as well.'

Need more advice on renting? Consult our beginner's guide to renting.