Rents in London? If You Have to Ask …


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The cost of living in London is now so high that it takes nine-tenths of an average person’s income just to cover the rent for an average apartment, never mind luxuries like, say, food or clothing or taxes.

And if you fancy living in a fashionable neighborhood like Kensington and Chelsea, think again: Every penny of the $38,960 an average Briton makes in a whole year would be swallowed up by your landlord in just eight months.

These figures come from a recent report by CBRE, a global real estate advisory firm, which says London’s residential rents are the highest in the world: £2,083 (about $3,020) a month for a typical two-bedroom apartment.

In Kensington and Chelsea, where Diana, Princess of Wales, once lived, and where you can walk to Harrods, the average soars to £3,405.

Spiraling housing prices and bouts of apartment envy dominate dinner-party talk in London the way aspirational New Yorkers fret about getting their toddlers into the right preschools. And no wonder: If groceries had gone up as much as housing prices have since 1970, a chicken would now cost £55.57 in London, according to Shelter, a housing charity in the city.

Of course, not every corner of London is as pricey as Kensington and Chelsea. The CBRE report identifies one borough with leafy open spaces, good schools, independent shops and average rents of just £1,007 a month.

That rare haven of affordability is Bexley, which is not on the radar of status-conscious Londoners because it is way out in the sixth (and most distant) transit-fare zone, an hour by train from the center of the city.

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