BBC Investigates Accuracy of Sadiq Khan’s Rent Predictions

London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently claimed that by next year, tenants in London could be grappling with rent payments of as high as £2,700 a month. This statement underwent scrutiny by the BBC’s More or Less programme.

Furthermore, Khan mentioned that the average monthly take-home salary of a London resident stands at £2,131. He used this figure to reinforce his plea for a freeze on rent.

Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the Mayor revealed that there are approximately 2.7 million renters in London. He expressed his concerns over the housing crunch and the escalating cost of living affecting this substantial demographic.

Highlighting potential relief, Khan shared that according to recent data, a rent freeze spanning two years might allow London’s renters to save an average of £3,374.

Khan emphasised, “These figures reveal the clearest picture yet of why rent controls are so necessary. Private renters constitute nearly a third of London’s population. However, they are continuously disappointed by a Government that seems deaf to their struggles and unwilling to act swiftly to shield them from further economic strain.”

He added, “Londoners re-elected me based on a manifesto commitment to lobby for the power to regulate rents, and I am unwavering in championing this crucial support on their behalf.”

To dissect the figures cited by Khan, the BBC Radio 4’s More or Less programme sought expertise from Tim Bannister, the Director of Property Science at Rightmove.

The findings from this examination revealed that the Mayor’s calculation for the £2,700 monthly rent forecast next year stemmed from merging Rightmove’s rent statistics with a projected 5% hike by Savills. However, it was discerned that this average considered rentals across various sizes, even larger properties with multiple rooms, and solely represented new rentals.

Moreover, the cited salary of £2,131 pertained to the present year and denoted the earnings of an individual, not accounting for couples or larger households.