Developers focus on rich as rents soar 27%

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Rents in Hackney have shot up 27 per cent in the past year, with the average for properties listed on leading property search engine Zoopla now at £2,447 per month.

Hackney Development Photo by: MDS

Less than a quarter of 410 luxury flats being built in Hoxton will be available for social rent or for rent at an ‘affordable’ level, which generally indicates 20 per cent reduction on market levels.

“Affordable is way beyond the reach of many people,” said Cllr Philip Glanville, who represents Hoxton. He called the affordability of housing in Hoxton ‘madness’.

Folio House, a development of 108 luxury properties under construction on Micawber Street, will include five council and 15 ‘affordable’ rental units. Eagle House, the skyscraper being built on Old Street roundabout, will be made up of 276 flats, but only a quarter will be at an ‘affordable’ level.

Next door, the City Road Hotel is rising to be a 17-storey tall, 247-room luxury boutique hotel. A separate development at 227 City Road will add a further 26 luxury flats, and be completed in spring 2013, with nine ‘affordable’ flats offered for shared ownership.

Local resident Gertrude Eigbobo, of Micawber Street, said rents in Hoxton were “getting more expensive but there’s nothing much we can do”. The massive amount of development was “blocking us in”, she said.

As rents rise, property prices are expected to double to £1,000 per sq ft by 2016, according to Knight Frank, the developers of the Canaletto residential property on the Hackney/Islington border, which will include 189 new homes and a private rooftop residents’ club.

Hoxton resident Sly Chabrarfwar called the developments “bloody annoying … it’s expensive enough already.”

Cllr Glanville said that new builds “can improve an area” and that a lot of work is being done to improve social housing around Hoxton, but believes there has been an “historic underinvestment” in social housing. “I’m attuned to the fact that to residents it can seem like an awful lot of change,” said Cllr. Glanville.

Current average asking price for rental properties listed on property search engine Zoopla.