This Is How Much You Need To Earn To Live Alone In London

Illustration by Mallory Heyer
Earlier this week – on Valentine's Day of all days – we learned that single Londoners could be saving for up 68 years to buy their own place in the Big Smoke.

But for many in the capital, particularly those not in a relationship, the thought of buying a property is very distant on the horizon – if it's even on their minds at all.

Many people are now resigned to the idea of renting for the rest of their lives out of necessity, and new data reveals just how expensive it is to rent by yourself in London.

The amount of living space recommended for one person is 420 square feet, according to the Greater London Authority's housing standards, and the 2017 Rental Affordability Index, compiled by, has worked out the income needed to live alone in each of the capital's boroughs.

The most expensive borough to fly solo in is Kensington and Chelsea (surprise, surprise), where you'd need an annual income of £116,838.60 to live alone. Second up is the City of Westminster, where you'd need a £88,468.08 salary.

The average London salary is around £40k, according to the index, so with average earnings you could consider Merton (£36,181.20), Richmond Upon Thames (£37,908) or the slightly pricier Hackney (£41,506.80).

It is possible to rent alone in London as a single person if you're earning a below average salary, the index shows. You just might get yourself relegated to zone 6 – think Bexley (£21,463.44), Havering (£22,399.44), Barking and Dagenham (£24,110.04) or Croydon (£24,691.08).

We're booking our one-way ticket to Margate.

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