The average room rent in the capital in the final quarter of 2020 was £715 – an 8% drop from £781 a year earlier.
Eight out of the ten postcodes where rents fell most sharply are in Zone 1. This reflects the fact that Covid-19 has dented the appeal of central London most severely of all.
In fact, rents in EC3 (Aldgate) and SW1 (Westminster, Belgravia and Pimlico) dropped by around 25% in just 12 months. In EC2 (Bishopsgate and Cheapside) and W8 (Holland Park), they fell by around 20%.
Rents in two other major cities, Birmingham and Manchester, fell by 6% and 5% respectively in the final quarter of 2020.
The cheapest areas to rent a room in London in the final quarter were SE2 (Abbey Wood), E6 (East Ham) and N18 (Upper Edmonton). Average room rents in these areas are around the £550 mark.
Check out the most and least expensive London areas to rent below.
“London rents continue to fall and, as has been the case throughout the past year, it’s the expensive areas where they fall the fastest," said SpareRoom's director, Matt Hutchinson. "We’re now seeing the biggest drop in London room rents since spring, and there’s no immediate sign of a recovery."
Noting that "the first national lockdown made people think twice about living in cities, especially London," Hutchinson predicted: "With another lockdown now underway it’s hard to see that changing any time soon."
He added: "In the short term it means cheaper rents for those who stay in the capital, but longer term it’s going to be more about how quickly industries like entertainment, hospitality and tourism, which London relies so heavily on, recover from the pandemic."