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Higher rents near London high streets – but for how long?

Rents are higher for Londoners living near busy high streets – for the moment at least.

Research by rental platform Spotahome has looked at each London borough based on the high street population as a percentage of total.

The research shows that in all nine boroughs where more than 50 per cent of the population is located on or near the high street, people pay above the London average rent of £1,644.

For example, the City of London has some 82 per cent of the population living on or near a high street and an average rental cost of £2,274.

In Camden and Hackney, the typical rent is £2,302 and £1,842 respectively, with 63.1 per cent and 53.2 per cent of the population found living around the high street.

Despite this trend of people paying more to live in urban areas, COVID-19 could cause a shifting of priorities, resulting in more demand and correspondingly high rents in areas where there’s more green space.

In areas where less than 34 per cent of the population live on the high street, average rents are all lower than the London average of £1,644 per month.

For renters seeking some distance from the high street in London, Bexley (£1,169), Croydon £1,140), Sutton (£1,151), Havering (£1,169) and Hillingdon (£1,200) are the cheapest places to live, while they all have a low proportion of people renting around the high street.

A spokeswoman for the platform says: “After spending months inside, many tenants are prioritising green spaces over the busy high street, especially as they look to avoid being exposed to the virus in the event of a potential second wave.

“Therefore, we may see a rebalancing of the cost of renting, as demand shifts from the high street to parks and greenery, with these currently more affordable boroughs climbing in cost as a result.”

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