Renting in London: Where’s Best?

Renting in London: Where’s Best?

People are always asking me about property prices in London and whether it’s a good time to invest. At DoorProp, we’re more about renting, but the answer is the same. London is massive and asking if it’s good to invest in London right now is a bit like asking whether you should invest in Manchester, Leeds, or Liverpool. London is a huge city and it entirely depends on precisely where you’re thinking of renting.

So, where’s hot and where’s not in London? There are lots of factors to consider of course, and many of them will be personal to you and your circumstances. But here are our thoughts on four prime locations in London.

North London: Islington

Islington grew from a small village and spread along the Great North Road, which was the main route between London and Scotland. Although it is both a district and a London Borough, our focus here is on the area known as Islington, rather than the whole borough.

Islington has a wealth of period architecture, with pretty Georgian terraced houses and Victorian villas. And it’s a vibrant place to live, centred around the thriving bars and restaurants of Upper Street. The lively nightlife scene is popular with London’s young professionals.

Islington is great for those working in the City. Angel tube station is on the Northern Line, so will quickly get you to Old Street, Moorgate, and Bank. At the northern end, Highbury & Islington serves the Victoria Line, and the overground station will take you to a variety of locations in all directions. There is also access to the Thameslink line via St Pancras, about a 30-minute walk away from the centre of Islington.

It is an area rich in culture, with fringe theatres and stand-up comedy venues. And further south, towards Clerkenwell, there’s Sadler’s Wells, known for ballet and other forms of dance.

There is plenty of shopping too, with the antiques stalls and boutiques of the Camden Passage Antiques Market being notorious for retro clothes, collectables, pictures, vintage luggage, and much more.

Rental prices in Islington

The price of a two-bedroom flat in Islington ranges between £400 and £950 per week, with an average of £600.

What Islington is best for:

Enjoying the cosmopolitan restaurants and thriving nightlife.

South London: Clapham

It seems that Clapham has always been a popular place to rent, with people attracted to its Victorian and Edwardian housing and the open expanse of Clapham Common.

The “old town” of Clapham has large houses with gardens that tend to appeal to families. However, it is the areas surrounding the High Street, with its abundance of converted flats and busy restaurants and bars that are popular with renters in their 20s and 30s.

Clapham and Clapham South tube stations on the Northern Line provide links to London Bridge and the City. And Clapham Junction, Britain’s busiest train station, provides a fast route to Croydon, with employment opportunities and direct links to Brighton and the south coast. Plus, Clapham provides the gateway for trains to the west and south-west.

Aside from a lively bar and restaurant scene, Clapham Common is a big draw, offering space to relax and play.

Rental prices in Clapham

A two-bedroom flat in Clapham costs between £435 and £540 per week, with an average of £500.

What Clapham is best for:

Spending lazy summer afternoons with friends on Clapham Common.

East London: Stratford

Driven by the construction of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for the 2012 Olympic Games, Stratford is no longer just an industrial suburb. Instead, it’s been regenerated into a hip East-End location.

It too has great travel connections into central London. Stratford tube station is on the Central Line, which is good for those working near Liverpool Street, Bank and Chancery Lane. And it links to the west-end shopping around Oxford Circus, with north-west London at one end, and the inner towns of Essex at the other. It’s convenient too for Canary Wharf and other stops along the Docklands Light Railway and overground trains run from Stratford International to various destinations in Kent.

Cost-wise, Stratford has the best prices for two-bed flats in any of our four areas.

It is rich in cultural diversity and is great for shopping. There is Westfield Stratford City, which claims to be “the largest urban shopping and leisure destination in Europe”. The shopping centre has late-night openings and boasts more than 250 shops, 65 restaurants, a cinema, bowling centre, and even a casino.

While the Olympic Park is now home to West Ham football club, it also hosts regular live music and sporting events.

Rental prices in Stratford

The price of a two-bed flat in Stratford is between £334 and £508 per week, with an average cost of £441.

What Stratford is best for:

Shopping and leisure activities at Westfield Stratford City and the Olympic Park.

West London: Hammersmith

Hammersmith sits on the River Thames and also on one of the main routes into London from the west, the A4, which leads onto the M4 motorway.

It is the priciest of our four areas, probably due to its proximity to upmarket Kensington and Chelsea.

Hammersmith is extremely well served by tube, with the stations at Baron’s Court, Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park accessing the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly and District lines.

The area has a variety of bars, pubs and restaurants, as well as two covered shopping centres.

Culturally, Hammersmith is famous for the Hammersmith Apollo, which stages some of the world’s biggest music artists and the UK’s best-known comedians. At the other end of the scale, the Lyric Hammersmith is known for its more ground-breaking and original, contemporary theatre productions.

Hammersmith has easy access to the River Thames, where there are countless pubs and restaurants, as well as inviting riverside walks with great views. And once a year, the place is transformed as it hosts the famous Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

Rental prices in Hammersmith

Renting a two-bed flat in Hammersmith costs between £484 and £1,075 per week, with an average of £837.

What Hammersmith is best for:

Taking a walk along the Thames, stopping for lunch or a drink in a riverside pub.

North, south, east or west?

So, there you have it, our quick guide to the London rental scene. Where do you fancy?

Of course, Islington, Clapham, Stratford, and Hammersmith don’t represent London. There are other places too. And perhaps instead you fancy brushing off the brown corduroys for Camden, or joining the elite in mega-money Mayfair, or just getting your slippers on and hoping those screaming kids eventually pipe down in leafy Canonbury.

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