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Londoners shrink property size to keep living costs down

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08/12/2014

London renters are only prepared to spend slightly more of their gross monthly salary on rent than the rest of the UK but will compromise on size to keep living costs down.

A study from property agents Knight Frank revealed that Londoners would pay up to 42 per cent of their gross monthly wage on rent compared to 40 per cent elsewhere in Britain.

But respondents in London said they would settle for living in a smaller property to be based in a good location at a price they could afford.

More than half (54 per cent) of 18 to 24-year-olds in London said they were would be happy to live in a studio flat with communal entertaining space if it allowed them to live in a central area at an affordable price. Meanwhile 42 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds and 39 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds said they would shrink down their home to live centrally. Across the UK the national average of those prepared to live in a studio flat for a more central location was 37 per cent.

Londoners placed a greater emphasis on living close to transport links when choosing a property to rent. Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of London tenants surveyed wanted to be within a nine minute walk of a transport link such as the bus stop, tube or train station, compared to 51 per cent of tenants surveyed across Britain.

Attitudes towards renting were also revealed to be different within the capital. When asked why they were living in the private rental sector, 56 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds in London said the rental sector suited their lifestyle and they didn’t want a mortgage.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) of 25 to 34 year-olds in London felt the same while 27 per cent of 35 to 44-year-olds gave the same reply. Across the UK, 33 per cent of respondents said it was a lifestyle choice.

In its report Knight Frank said: “The private rented sector is growing in London and across the UK. While this is undoubtedly linked to trends in house prices the sector is also expanding amid a demand for a more flexible workforce in key urban areas.

“As London plays a major role in the UK in terms of job creation, and is likely to continue to do so, the private rented sector looks set to be underpinned by well-designed stock at the right price point in locations close to transport links.”

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