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Kanga says private rents are bouncing around like Tigger

Who would want to go to live in Bromley anyway? Probably loads and loads of us, for some reason – as this south London Borough has had the highest rent increases for private renters in the last 12 months. It’s joined in the top three by Bexley and Greenwich, giving south London the edge in the top five.

However, in second place is East London’s own Barking & Dagenham, where private rents have risen by a whopping 18.7%. Kangaroom has not done any analysis to give us a clue why this should have happened, but it is likely that private renters are being forced, by cost as well as by supply and demand, further out east, to a borough where there is not a large supply of rooms and flats for private rent. These figures should send alarm bells ringing across East London: rents going up and non-locals moving in are not good headlines in a borough where extreme right wing groups are quick to whip up xenophobic reactions to economic issues.

Kangaroom is well placed to compute rental changes. Not only do they hold info on standard private renting opportunities, but they also advertise flatshare and spare room renting opportunities. However you look at the data, it’s bad news for the private renter in a city which saw an overall population increase of 1.64% last year. Kangaroom reckons that London renters are experiencing an average 6.65% year-on-year price rise in room rentals. The average London room rental price in 2014 is now £609, compared to last year’s price of £571. Small decreases in rent have been registered in Kensington & Chelsea, and Hammersmith & Fulham – but rents were already high there, so even if the boroughs have hit a market rent ceiling, they are still hugely expensive.

In terms of the last year, the boroughs with the most stable rents have been Croydon (handy for the immigration office), Hounslow (always popular with plane spotters) and Ealing and Barnet (no memorable distinguishing features).

The two counterposing pressures prevail. Wages are low and workers find it very hard to afford the high rents that are pretty much universal. The flats and houses which are available for private rent were in the main bought when property prices were high, so their owners need to get a substantial income from them if they are to keep up with mortgage payments. It could yet end in tears.

•However, if you are looking for privately rented accommodation – whether it’s a room, a flatshare or a self-contained property – try going through to www.kangaroom.net. Good luck!

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