False comparisons on renting in London help no-one

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Independent has today claimed that renting an ‘average London flat’ is more expensive than living in most European hotels.

A headline grabbing shock statistic ….. but is it actually true?

When taking a closer look at the facts there are clear inconsistencies with the newspaper’s statistics.

In the article it is claimed that latest figures show that the average rent for a flat in London is £1,676. This is incorrect and is, in fact, the average rent in London for all properties.

The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in London is £1,271, while the average rent for a studio apartment is £952 and the average rent for a bedroom is £572 (Source: VOA).

The average rent for a single bedroom of £572, works out at £19 a night. A significant difference to the £55 a night hotel bill.

Furthermore, while the Paris hotel referenced in the article is indeed available at £55 a night for a single bedroom today this figure does not reflect seasonal availability or weekend rates.

Moreover, the room at £55 is a single bedroom, with no view and no facilities such as a kitchen or washing machine. The hotel bill, covering 30 nights from today, works out at a total of £1,938 or £2,171 with breakfast included. The equivalent of £72 a night.

When we look at the costs in July this increases to £2,372 for 30 nights, an average of £79 per night and £2,560 for 30 nights with breakfast (an average of £85 per night).

This is a difference of £1,800 between the average rent for a bedroom in London and the cost of 30 nights in a hotel.

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA said:

“This is a good story not supported by the facts. Renting a room from a landlord would be £1,800 cheaper than a hotel this summer. For the cost of a hotel room you could rent two studios and still have money left for a few nights out.

“Comparing apples and pears benefits nobody.

“What London really needs is action on the buy-to-leave landlords who are letting property lie empty, depriving hard working Londoners of somewhere to live, a move which would see 57,000 empty properties become homes.

“According Office for National Statistics figures 27% of Londoners live in privately rented homes and it is vital that the Government works alongside the PRS to tackle the housing issues in the capital.”


About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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