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Homelessness charity Shelter says Enfield families spend more than half their income on rent
Families struggling to make ends meet are paying more than half their incomes on rent – and worse is yet to come.
Figures from homelessness charity Shelter reveal that on average, 54.3 per cent of family incomes in Enfield are spent on rent.
And estate agents in the borough say the booming rental market is not limited to Enfield, but warn rents could increase further in the coming years.
Peter Panayi, who works for Ian Gibbs Estate Agents in Windmill Hill, said the borough's three overground stations, Enfield Town, Enfield Chase and Gordon Hill, make the area especially desirable.
He also said an increase in demand for rental properties - especially from overseas clients - pushes rents higher still.
Mr Panayi said an average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property has increased from £750 five years ago to £1,000 in 2013.
However, he said: “I think it will continue to go up but not at the rate it has been.”
Renters are being hit throughout the city, with average rents in 23 of London’s 33 boroughs swallowing more than 50 per cent of family incomes – rising from 19 boroughs last year.
Census data from 2011 revealed in December that the proportion of homes in the capital rented privately has rocketed by 62 per cent since 2001, while the proportion of homes owned with a mortgage has dropped by 18 per cent.
Richard Oughton, who owns estate agents Ellis and Co in Church Street in Enfield Town, blames the vast increase on the difficulty in getting mortgages.
When addressing high rents, he said: “Unfortunately it is not just in Enfield, it’s the whole market place.
“There is a much, much higher demand from tenants looking to rent a property because it is much more difficult to get a mortgage unless you are going to pay extortionate mortgage rates.”
Unless people are given cash from “the bank of mum and dad”, he said it is becoming increasingly hard for people to find enough money for deposits to buy homes.
He said with higher demand comes higher prices, and people are renting to avoid the “rigmarole” of buying properties in a tough financial market.
Although the public do not need to see rent “going through the roof”, he said rents could continue to increase.
Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, added: “The news that renting in the capital is unaffordable isn’t a surprise to the Enfield families who are stuck in the rent trap, unable to save anything towards a home of their own because they’re paying out so much each month in rent.
“But the fact that rental costs in most areas of London are eating up more than half of family incomes should stop us in our tracks.”