14 Friday, 3 July 2009 London Lite banking meltdown takes its toll on landlords in the square mile City rents plunge 19% thanks to the crunchby mark blunden Tenants havemorepower tonegotiatecheaperdeals Capital Charges Ave. monthly rent Q2 AnnuAl 2009 ChAnge Barking & Dham 386.17 -5.3% Barnet 471.79 1.3% Bexley 391.46 0.9% Brent 513.32 -2.8% Bromley 421.12 -3.9% Camden 652.58 2.4% City 915.67 -18.7% Croydon 419.33 -2.6% Ealing 491.93 -1.5% Enfield 421.99 -8.1% Greenwich 475.79 -3.6% Hackney 553.61 -0.3% Hsmith & Fulham 619.37 -4.9% Haringey 480.62 -2.9% Harrow 420.10 -5.9% Havering 445.22 0.6% Hillingdon 436.08 8.4% Hounslow 502.22 -3.8% Islington 601.72 -1.1% Kens. & Chelsea 753.37 -0.7% Kingston 456.46 2.5% Lambeth 507.25 -4.8% Lewisham 442.10 -2.1% Merton 508.19 -3.4% Newham 482.50 -5.8% Redbridge 431.25 0.9% Richmond 508.17 -10.4% Southwark 531.74 -3.7% Sutton 437.26 5.0% Tower Hamlets 545.30 -7.4% Waltham Forest 424.35 -6.4% Wandsworth 533.43 -6.3% Westminster 738.81 -10.2% lOnDOn average 544.33 -2.6% INVESTMENT banker Jositha Joseph Paul recently moved to take advantage of falling rents. She said Docklands rents had dropped by about 20 per cent in the past year. The 24-year-old said: I used to rent a room in a flat in Limehouse for 650 a month, plus 300 a month in bills, but I realised in the spring that it was really overpriced. Other friends were moving house and finding rents for similar places had gone down to 500 a month, so I decided to find somewhere new and use the extra money to save for a house deposit. Im now living in an en suite room in a shared house in Blackwall, 10 minutes walk from Canary Wharf, which is 638 including bills. Tenants have a lot of power to negotiate. THE banking meltdown has seen rents in the City fall by 19 per cent in the past year, new figures show. The collapse of the financial sector has crushed demand for pieds- -terre in the Square Mile, meaning those still flat hunting can negotiate far better deals with landlords. The average City rent is now 916 a month, still the highest in the capital. A year ago it was 1,217. The figures are good news for tenants across London, with rents plummet- ing faster than anywhere else in the UK, according to flat search website SpareRoom.co.uk. They dropped 1.7 per cent between April and June to an average of 544 per month, taking the annual fall to 2.9 per cent. Other areas hit hard by white col- lar unemployment have also seen rents become far more affordable in the past 12 months. In Richmond, the average rent fell by 10.4 per cent in the past year, while the fall was 10.2 per cent in Westminster. A decrease in immigration and an increase in families taking in lodgers have also contributed to the downward trend. Matt Hutchinson, director of research at SpareRoom.co.uk, said: London rents have taken a serious blow in the past year, making it an ideal time for tenants on the hunt for a bargain. The financial crisis claimed countless City high-fliers, and Westminster and Richmond have also been badly hit. But he said rents in London could rise again in the next few months because the supply of rooms was levelling out. There is also growing demand from people still unable to buy or trying to save a deposit. Saving money: tenant Jositha index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html