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Rent rises prompt London tenant to relocate and commute…from Argentina

General News   |   May 2, 2024   |   Lizzie

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How far would you be prepared to commute to find a cheaper place to live?

Renting or buying in London has always been more expensive than in other UK cities so it’s no surprise many workers in the Capital live elsewhere and either use public transport or the car to travel to their jobs.

The rise in private rents in recent years has prompted a growing number of people to move out of London and live elsewhere.

The most favoured places currently for private renters to relocate to, according to international estate agency Hamptons, include Epping, Watford, Luton, Slough, Broxbourne in Hertfordshire and Tonbridge in Kent.

Work Wise UK has found that average commute times have increased in the UK. Londoners take the longest time to get to and from work, travelling for an hour and 21 minutes each day, 23 minutes longer than the UK average.

And that average has gone up by five minutes compared to a decade ago. With the exception of Northern Ireland, most parts of the UK have seen increases in commute time.

The reasons are complex: higher asking prices for homes, rent increases, a lack of investment in public transport, the concentration of well-paid jobs in certain areas, jobs with little scope for flexi-time, and so on.

But even so, it is with absolute astonishment that we read in The Guardian about one man’s relocation out of London to find a place with cheaper rent.

Artist Andy Leek, who was paying £1,000 a month for a flatshare in Brixton, found he could no longer afford to pay the Capital’s rising rates of rent, which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says are up 30% since 2015.

Instead, he has taken the extreme solution to relocate and commute – from Buenos Aires in Argentina, 7,000 miles away!

The Guardian reports that Andy, a former art director at an advertising agency, pays £400 a month for a flat in Buenos Aires and ‘travels back to the UK roughly every two months for work, and the flight costs less than a monthly train season ticket between Bristol and London’.

Andy told the paper: “It works out far cheaper than staying in London, dealing with the hassle and not getting by.”

It comes as data from both the ONS and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation confirm rent rises in London outpacing both inflation and pay rises.

The ONS say the average private rent in London has gone up 11.2% in the past year, with the national average 9.2%. Across England, renters are paying £107 more a month on average compared to 12 months ago.

It’s the highest annual increase in London in a decade, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, equating to a £2,500 rise.

Here in Portsmouth and Southsea, we have first-hand insight of the local rental market, so whether you are looking for a house or flat, or you are an owner with a property to let, Chinneck Shaw can help you. Feel free to come and talk to us or visit our ‘Let’ pages for more information.

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