Renters are fleeing London at record speed. Who can blame them?
A record number of tenants left the capital in 2022, as the rental market became even crazier
Morning — here’s what we’ve spied in the capital on Tuesday, February 14:
🏚️ London’s rental crisis is driving a record number of tenants out of the city. Last year 90,370 renting households moved out of London, double the 44,930 who left in 2012, according to new research. Who can blame them, given the current insanity of London’s rental market. Since January 2022, average monthly rents have risen by £207 in inner London and £176 in the outer boroughs. And that’s if you even manage to find somewhere – prospective tenants face queues at viewings, on-the-spot offers and bidding wars. Meanwhile, first-time rough sleeping in London is up 29% year-on-year.
It’s hard to see where things go from here. In November mayor Sadiq Khan called for a two-year private sector rent freeze, but that’s up to the government to implement, which it won’t. Others are keeping up calls for the relaxation of house-building rules on the greenbelt around London, but even if that happened, it wouldn’t help in the short-term.
Ultimately two big forces have turbocharged rental demand in the capital: the post-lockdown return of workers and students to cities, and the rise in interest rates, which are pricing out many would-be buyers or leading to landlords to evict and sell-up. So for now all Londoners can hope for is some of that cooling down…
And to top it all off, we’re losing some of the best gallows humour: Vice is ending its London Rental Opportunity of the Week series, which highlighted the worst monstrosities the capital’s landlords had to offer (showers in kitchens, strangely angular ceilings). A great send-off in their last column on Friday.
🚌 Bus drivers in London have accepted an 18 per cent pay rise, bringing an end to long-running strike action. More than 1,800 drivers employed by Abellio had been staging walkouts that had disrupted journeys in south and west London. The Spy reckons that means no more transport strikes are in the capital’s calendar for the time being.
👮 Former Met officer Wayne Couzens has admitted to three counts of indecent exposure, one of which he committed four days before killing Sarah Everard. Couzens is already serving a whole-life sentence for kidnapping, rape and murdering Ms Everard in 2021, but he has now also plead guilty to exposing his genitals twice in a restaurant in Kent the same year, and another time in a woodland in 2020. It’s fair to say these are clearly missed opportunities to stop the rogue cop — more on that towards the summer, when an official inquiry into failures in the Couzens case is due to report back.
🍔 Baker Street faces its greatest mystery yet: how a new kebab shop was allowed to open despite complaints there is already too much fast food on the road. Neighbours are livid with Westminster council for letting the new Doner Shack open, claiming the famous street is already overcrowded by 35 eateries. Unrelated, but Baker Street was recently in the headlines due to a long-running family feud involving the owner of the Sherlock Holmes museum.
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