UK housing
Stepping up to a family home for renters in London is becoming impossible for many as housing costs soar beyond what is affordableiStock

Londoners who rent and want to start a family face a "harsh reality" because of the city's rapid increase in housing costs, according to research by Property Partner.

The property crowdsourcing platform said the average London rent on a three bedroom house, £2,460, would eat into almost 56% of the combined monthly salary of a couple who work full-time and take home the median earnings — even before any other costs, such as childcare. Over a year, rent would cost £29,520 of the couple's income.

Even in the cheapest borough, Bexley, the average monthly rent on a three-bed house, £1,311, consumes nearly 30% of a median-earning couple's annual income. Over a year, that's £15,732. The research is based on data from Zoopla and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

"Those unable to buy but hoping to start a family and move up the rental ladder may just be able to make ends meet in outer London boroughs," said Dan Gandesha, CEO of Property Partner. "But the harsh reality is that they'll be forced to bring up their children in a flat rather than a house.

"Although everyone knows Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, are totally out of reach on an average London salary, the surprise comes with Camden and Islington too. The age of the so-called second-stepper renter has not arrived. In fact at this rate, it looks like it may never come.

"Another sobering thought is that our research assumes both partners are in full-time employment and earning the average London salary. The figures do not take into account that if a couple have one or two children, the costs of childcare and household bills would make meeting the monthly rent unachievable."

Rents and house prices have risen sharply in London amid a serious housing shortage in the city. Around half the 50,000 new units needed a year are currently being delivered.

Borough Average rent for 1 bed flat Rent as a % of combined salary for 1 bed flat Average rent for 2 bed flat Rent as a % of combined salary for 2 bed flat Average rent for 3 bed house Rent as a % of combined salary for 3 bed house
Bexley £753 17.05% £1,052 23.81% £1,311 29.68%
Havering £882 19.97% £1,132 25.63% £1,417 32.08%
Sutton £906 20.51% £1,203 27.23% £1,776 40.20%
Barking and Dagenham £951 21.53% £1,205 27.28% £1,484 33.59%
Bromley £885 20.03% £1,292 29.25% £1,569 35.52%
Croydon £981 22.21% £1,293 29.27% £1,598 36.17%
Redbridge £965 21.85% £1,320 29.88% £1,667 37.74%
Waltham Forest £1,063 24.06% £1,337 30.27% £1,795 40.63%
Enfield £973 22.03% £1,366 30.92% £1,763 39.91%
Hillingdon £948 21.46% £1,366 30.92% £1,601 36.24%
Harrow £1,028 23.27% £1,436 32.51% £1,761 39.86%
Lewisham £1,067 24.15% £1,490 33.73% £1,880 42.56%
Kingston upon Thames £1,127 25.51% £1,560 35.31% £1,901 43.03%
Barnet £1,167 26.42% £1,573 35.61% £2,084 47.18%
Greenwich £1,211 27.41% £1,593 36.06% £1,893 42.85%
Haringey £1,193 27.01% £1,614 36.54% £2,060 46.63%
Newham £1,239 28.05% £1,668 37.76% £1,973 44.66%
Brent £1,249 28.27% £1,685 38.14% £2,211 50.05%
Hounslow £1,204 27.26% £1,706 38.62% £2,036 46.09%
Merton £1,325 29.99% £1,790 40.52% £2,335 52.86%
Ealing £1,289 29.18% £1,812 41.02% £2,098 47.49%
Richmond upon Thames £1,470 33.28% £1,932 43.74% £2,592 58.68%
Lambeth £1,485 33.62% £2,099 47.52% £2,325 52.63%
Wandsworth £1,480 33.50% £2,152 48.72% £2,591 58.65%
Hackney £1,600 36.22% £2,167 49.06% £2,811 63.63%
Southwark £1,589 35.97% £2,194 49.67% £2,608 59.04%
Islington £1,738 39.34% £2,355 53.31% £3,461 78.35%
Hammersmith and Fulham £1,695 38.37% £2,389 54.08% £2,887 65.35%
Tower Hamlets £1,439 32.58% £2,399 54.31% £2,437 55.17%
Camden £1,814 41.06% £2,738 61.98% £5,383 121.86%
Westminster £2,602 58.90% £3,864 87.47% £5,978 135.33%
Kensington and Chelsea £2,634 59.63% £4,059 91.89% £7,434 168.29%
London average £1,311 29.68% £1,839 41.63% £2,460 55.69%

Source: Property Partner research