According to a recent report, London is officially the most expensive city in the world. From the price of a beer to bus fare to the shoe boxes that people call home. And, of course, rents continue to rise but salaries are staying the same; so what’s a gal (or guy) to do? Well, we are here to tell you that there are areas of the capital where the rent is lower and you won’t be out in Timbuktu.Yes, it may take you a whole (shock, horror)10 minutes more to get to central London, but, y’know, deal with it. We spoke to estate agents from Black Katz, Your Move and Currell about the best places to look for well-priced rentals. Then, when you find your perfect pad for a fraction(ish) of the usual price, you can go all Wolf of Wall Street and start throwing lobsters at people. Or at least some frozen prawns, anyway…
This area of north-east London comes up over and over again as one of the best places to rent – so we’re scratching our heads as to why the masses haven’t caught on. Nevertheless, they haven’t, so keep this on the down-low; we want you to be the first in. In Walthamstow you can get a place with spacious rooms for a decent price (by London standards, that is, but there’s nothing we can do about that). According to Shell Miah of Your Move, one bed flats in the area start at £120 a week, but you do have to search. The area itself has a village feel with a local market, a high street and a few good bars and restaurants, so you really can’t complain. Miah added: “A lot of young people are moving to Walthamstow; it’s a nice area and the transport is good – only 20 minutes from central.” We think that sounds pretty good folks, so why not go for a snoop?
If this sounds like it’s out of left field, that’s because it is – and don’t start thinking flats in Hyde Park are going cheap; they’re not and they never will. However, Westminster has the unique trait of having extremely low council tax. You’ll be paying about half of what it costs in most boroughs, so the extra £700-800 you save every year could go towards your rent instead. Flats are more pricey given the location (Charing Cross is literally the most central point of the city) but then again, the tax savings could make it worthwhile – and if living in the middle of the city is a priority, then this is where to do it. You won’t find anywhere here for less than £150 a week, but we’re telling you, a bit of tactical scrimping and saving and you might just land yourself a deal. And hey, with Big Ben right out your window you maybe able to save on a clock. How’s that for clever thinking?
For those of you who are all about the West Side (G homies), then Willesden could be a good bet for you. This area is beginning to gather some buzz. It’s not quite there but, as you move Kilburn way, there’s a marked improvement with new cafes cropping up and some good pubs nearby (Paradise in Kensal Rise is a hidden gem). Willesden Green is nicer than Willesden Junction, but there is a difference in price. Nevertheless, Willesden is jammily located a few stops from Broad Street, plus the Jubilee Line is almost never late, which is a joyous rarity in London. Prices are around £120-140 per week for a one bed. But don’t forget, there’s always the option of a double up! Just make sure your partner is cool with it….
Finsbury Park has managed to dispel its somewhat rough image in the last few years and coast off its great location and proximity to the Emirates Stadium (it helps that Arsenal are doing well this season). Young urban professionals have been flocking here and families are beginning to move in, which is a good sign. There’s some good foreign cuisine here and, of course, you can always go to the trusty Faltering Fullback, which may be an Irish pub on the outside, but everyone knows is full of Aussie love on the inside. Finsbury Park has great buses to east and north London and the Piccadilly Line is speedy. A room in a rental house begins at £150 per week here.
You might give Clapham a round of applause, but you should cheer for Balham too, as the two aren’t too dissimilar –although the latter is slightly cheaper. (And yes, we did make a hilarious joke, but let’s not get off topic.) Balham has loads going for it. It’s a bit further out, but it’s fairly buzzing with good pubs, bars and restaurants, and they keep flooding in. Sam Turley of Currell estate agents told us: “Brixton and Balham are sort of the new Clapham. The area is spreading out and there’s a lot going on – it’s definitely going in the direction of Clapham.” Which is great news, as Clapham is a regular hangout for Aussies anyway. This is also a great place to go for flat shares as it’s jammed full of young people (and antipodeans) so you’re likely to luck out. Sites such as spareroom.co.uk have great listings for Balham, and prices range from £155-200 per week.
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