When house hunting on minimum wage, it stands to reason that you’ll need to set your sights low. But how low? Hendon? Woah there, moneybags! Penge? Dream on, pal. Nope, to find a one-bed flat you can affordably rent on a wage of £6.50 an hour, you’ll have to schlep all the way out to Abbey Wood in Zone 4.
That’s the big headline behind a new report commissioned by finance website totallymoney.com, which calculated the average cost of a one-bed flat in each London postcode, then worked out how much you’d need to be earning an hour to afford to live there (assuming you work a 37.5-hour week and spunk no more than half your earnings on rent).
The report also found that the city’s most expensive postcode is EC3, where you’d need to be on the equivalent of £53.75 an hour to afford a place of your own. Even in semi-gentrified commuter hotspots like Brixton and Peckham you’re looking at around £15 an hour.
Worse still, just sitting tight and riding it out isn’t going to help, since while the minimum wage is rising at a rate of 3 percent a year, London rents are increasing at 6 percent a year. Don’t do the maths – it’s too depressing.
And if you can deal with life out in SE2 (it looks a bit like this, FYI), best bear in mind that rents are likely to go through the roof when the local station joins the Crossrail network in 2019. For the rest of us, it could be time to cast that net a little wider. We hear Reading’s not bad.
Want more cheery news? There are nine London boroughs in the top ten worst places to live in the UK.
Or find out how well your area fared in London's most extreme postcodes.