Should you rent or buy in London

For people not intimately familiar with the city living in London has a huge amount of appeal. It is undoubtedly the most exciting and vibrant city in the UK and it offers a huge range of opportunities from the country’s best jobs to the finest living and most incredible culture and history. London has a lot to offer and the appeal of living in the centre of the capital is massive. There’s something special about our capital city but many people have to re-evaluate whether it is actually worth renting in London. With that in mind we take a look at the various problems and whether you will be better off renting or buying elsewhere.


Well, money will always be the biggest concern living anywhere in London but if you’re considering anywhere particularly central then this will be a truly deciding factor. Even a “cheap” flat in central London will cost over £1000 a month to rent and this will put off a lot of people! Ok, you won’t pay commuting costs and the city is on your doorstep but there’s not much point in living in the capital if you can’t afford to enjoy it. Everything in central London costs more; from eating and drinking to entertainment; so you might find that living elsewhere or in greater London will give you more opportunity to actually enjoy the city; even if it’s not on your doorstep. If you’re planning to rent in London you’ll need to make sure you have a steady job and a larger than average deposit – as you’ll typically pay one month’s rent in advance and a month’s deposit making you 2 thousand pounds out of pocket before you begin!

The Commute

As something of a counter argument to living in the centre of London you also need to realise that travel in London isn’t particularly cheap and you will need to factor in the additional travel costs you will have if you decide to live in Greater London or further afield. Even if you are a quick tube ride away you will still be paying 3 or 4 pounds to get to work each day which adds up very quickly to around £75 a month. If there are two of you commuting then you could pay an extra £150 to live in central London and be just as well off. So before you decide whether it is worth living in London do the math and work out the real price difference between properties.


Mortgages are incredibly important to all of us and eventually you are going to want to start saving to buy property. If you are living in central London this can be highly problematic as your rental and living costs will make it more difficult to put together the money for a house deposit. If you look into Greater London you will often find that it makes more financial sense to rent cheaply for a little while before buying a property yourself. Therefore it’s a good idea to look into alternative options before deciding to rent in London.


Finally you will want to consider location. Above all living in inner London is about the experience of the city and what you will personally get out of it. However, if you end up settling for the grubbiest area of London just so you can live close to the action this might not actually be that much fun. You’d be better off renting further afield and having more money to enjoy your local area and the city. At the end of the day both options have a lot to offer but it is worth considering all your  options carefully before you dive in!