London Blog

Best places for students to live in London

UPDATE: We have released our new London graduate renting guide, click the link below to view the download page.

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With the start of the new academic year ahead of us, we present our top areas for students to live in London. We looked at things like rent levels, journey time to the centre of town, crime and bars and clubs to come up with a score for each area, please see a more detailed methodology below.

Our top area for students is Woolwich. We’d love to tell you that it’s number one because it’s dirt-cheap to rent there, bang in the centre of town, has amazing nightlife and zero crime. Sadly such an area does not exist in London – please consult ourVenn diagram of location compromise for more details . The reason Woolwich wins is because it represents the best compromise location for students. It is relatively cheap to rent there, well connected to the centre and the overall standard of the other factors are the best.

Woolwich (postcode SE18) is in south east London in the borough of Greenwich. It is famous for a number of things including being the original home of Arsenal football club, the home of London’s first McDonalds and having the Woolwich ferry transporting vehicles across the river. It hit the international stage in courtesy of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics hosting the shooting events. Since the early noughties the areas has transformed thanks to Berkeley Homes’ Woolwich Arsenal residential development and the opening of Woolwich Arsenal DLR station in 2009.

So what’s it like to live there? The DLR will get you directly to Bank Station in 27 minutes or Bond Street (changing to the Central line) in 40 minutes. The average rent of a room (based on a third of a three-bed) is just £100 per week, 11% below the average for the borough and 27% below the London average. Crime in Woolwich is above the London average but is in the middle of the range for the 25 areas identified in the list. Of the top 25 student areas it ranks 20th for pubs and bars, but the relatively quick access to the centre more than makes up for that.

Looking at the other areas that made the top 25, they are split almost equally between north and south of the river, but there are more areas in the east than the west of town. This is quite simply because the east is generally more affordable. In terms of the tube zones, there is a big concentration in zone 2 (65%) or areas with 24% in zone 3 and 11% in zone 4. Nothing in zone 1 sadly!

Methodology: Rentonomy have identified the best places in London for students. To do this they analysed 5 key metrics; rent for a room, journey time to the centre, crime levels, number of pubs and bars and the existing socio-demographic make-up of the area. The first two, which most young Londoners consider the most important, have been double weighted in the final score. All metrics were combined to form a final score.

Our top area for students is Woolwich, where rent levels are well below the London average, transport accessibility is good but crime is also moderate (most of the time!) and the nightlife is pretty good too.

August 20, 2014 rentonomy Moving to the Capital