Young Londoners Sacrifice Space for Location

The capital, with its bright lights and entertainment, has always attracted young people, but at what cost? According to a recent survey, young Londoners would choose location (and affordability) over comfort any day when it comes to living in the perfect location. They would rather rent a tiny flat than a large property in another location, just to be close to the pulse and heartbeat of the central zone of London.

According to the survey by Knight Frank, 54 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds said that they would be happy living in a studio flat (a small one-roomed flat with an adjoining bathroom) if it meant they were able to live in the city’s central zone. The survey revealed that 45 per cent of the survey’s target population would not be averse to living in a ‘microflat’, which is a studio flat approximately 300 sq. ft. in size, just to be in the ‘perfect location’. Interestingly, 37 per cent of 35 to 44 year olds said they would also consider a small studio flat in a central zone of the capital.

Growth in the private rented sector

Growth in the private rented sector in London and across the UK has been steadily increasing. House prices, though on the decline, are still higher than pre-credit crisis prices, and are still not an affordable option for many Londoners.

Another underlying cause to the growth in the private rented sector is an increased demand for a more flexible workforce. According to the survey, about a fifth of Londoners between the ages of 35 and 44 did not expect to become homeowners. Overall 18 per cent of London tenants said they would remain in the rented sector for a very long time, while approximately 6 per cent expected to remain in the sector for a period of between three to ten years.

The Office of National Statistics data puts the annual house price inflation at 12.5 per cent in England, 5.8 per cent in Wales, 7.6 per cent in Scotland, and 10.9 per cent in Northern Ireland. The average house price in the UK for September 2014 was £273,000 compared with £274,000 in August. The regional breakdown showed that the average property price in England was £285,000, in Wales it stood at £172,000, the average house price was £143,000 in Northern Ireland and Scotland has an average house price of £197,000. Given those prices, a microflat might not be all that bad.

Featured image "Big Ben from the London Eye" via Paul Tridon

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