London has the highest rents of any city on Earth: at an average of £2,083 per month, and having risen by 4pc last year, living in the capital may seem impossible for some.
But huge variation in rents across the capital means that there is still hope for many.
Bexley has been named as the most affordable London borough in which to rent, with the average house now costing around £1,007 per calendar month.
Bexley, Havering and Barking, and Dagenham – all of which are in the south-east of the city – are the three most affordable boroughs, with average rent more than £2,000 a month cheaper than that in the most expensive, Kensington and Chelsea.
The three priciest boroughs for rents are Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster and the City of London, with the average rent in these boroughs all around £3,000.
While rents in Bexley are the cheapest in London, the borough has also seen faster price growth in the past year than any other area – rent there has gone up 10pc in the past 12 months, according to new research from property group CBRE.
Because of its good transport links, parks and low prices, there is huge demand for rental property in Bexley. Online property company Rentify revealed last year that it was the second most-searched-for borough for property.
Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at CBRE, said Bexley, which was also the cheapest borough last year, has remained affordable because of its location.
"It is a great place to live, but in outer London and therefore priced accordingly, it's typically a family location, so hasn't been a huge rental market. But its cheaper rents have attracted renters, hence the growth," she said.
The lowest rents in Greater London are in Bexley
Excluding the capital, rents across the UK average £749 a month, having risen 3.5pc year-on-year, according to the latest quarterly rental index from Homelet.
The gap between London and the rest of the UK is now the highest on record, they said.
Ms Siebrits said the strength of the market reflected a huge surge in the number of renters in the capital over the past decade.
"Renting is becoming ever more popular, with a significant increase in renters. This partly reflects affordability constraints – even before the financial crisis we were seeing an uptick but it has magnified since the crisis – and subsequent credit constraints," she said.
Kensington and Chelsea is the most expensive London borough for renters Photo: PA
Ms Siebrits also explained that the rise in immigration had created more demand for rented properties.
She said: "London is arguably the global financial centre and attracts the top international conglomerate companies, which have workers who need temporary rental accommodation.
"At the other end we attract Europeans who come here for employment opportunities, who also need accommodation and are not able to access the owner occupation market."
Where are the most affordable London boroughs for renters?
- Bexley £1,007
- Havering, £1,083
- Barking and Dagenham, £1,162
- Sutton, £1,166
- Bromley, £1,271
- Enfield, £1,285
- Redbridge, £1,293
- Croydon, £1,309
- Waltham Forest, £1,309
- Hillingdon, £1,311