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Summer interest rate cut possible, says Bank deputy

Summer interest rate cut possible, says Bank deputy

The Bank of England has given its strongest hint yet that interest rates could be cut this summer.

Bank deputy governor Ben Broadbent said in a speech that a rate cut at “some time” over the summer was “possible”.

His comments come ahead of figures on Wednesday that are expected to show a sharp drop in inflation, which measures the rate at which prices are increasing.

Earlier this month, the Bank indicated that rate cuts were likely to be actively considered in June and August, depending on how the economy performed.

Mr Broadbent has one vote on the Bank’s nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that decides interest rates.

Earlier this month, two members of the panel voted for a cut, though rates were maintained at 5.25%. Mr Broadbent voted with the majority to keep borrowing costs at the current 16-year high.

Next month’s meeting is Mr Broadbent’s last before he leaves the Bank in July.

In a speech on Monday, he said that there was a range of views across the MPC about how much economic evidence was needed to reduce interest rates.

“The experience of the last two or three years has made people wary. Equally, the behaviour of the economy over the last six months… is reassuring,” he said.

He pointed to analysis that inflation may not be as persistent as originally feared.

While the rate has been falling over the past year, it has remained higher than some economists had forecast and this has pushed back expectations of when the Bank will cut rates.

The most recent inflation data showed that prices rose by 3.2% in the year to March, although the figure released this week is expected to see the rate drop close to the Bank’s target of 2%.

When the Bank of England held rates earlier this month, its governor, Andrew Bailey, said it needed to “see more evidence” that price rises have slowed further before cutting interest rates.

However, Mr Bailey added he was “optimistic that things are moving in the right direction”.

Fixed mortgage rates fell sharply at the beginning of the year as financial markets forecast that the Bank could cut rates a number of times in 2024.

Since then, mortgage rates have increased and remained volatile, as financial markets follow developments in the US where inflation has also not fallen as quickly as expected.

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Navigating the London Property Market: A Guide for Foreigners Renting in 2024


London, a global city teeming with opportunities and cultural experiences, is a top destination for expatriates from around the world. Whether you’re relocating for work, study, or personal reasons, understanding the nuances of renting property in London is crucial. This guide will provide an in-depth look at how foreigners can best navigate the London rental market in 2024, offering tips on finding the right property, understanding legal requirements, and making the most of your experience in the capital.

Understanding the Rental Market in London

The London rental market is diverse, with a range of properties that cater to different needs and budgets. From modern apartments in the city center to more spacious homes in the suburbs, the market offers something for everyone. However, demand often outstrips supply, leading to a competitive environment. Knowing where to look and what to expect can significantly enhance your renting experience.

Key Areas to Consider

  1. Central London (Zone 1 and 2): Ideal for those who want to be at the heart of the action. Areas like Kensington, Westminster, and Camden offer proximity to major attractions and business districts but come at a higher cost.
  2. Outer Zones (3 to 6): These areas offer more affordable rental options and are still well-connected to central London. Places like Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, and Sutton provide good value for money with growing community investments.
  3. Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods: Areas such as Lewisham and Waltham Forest are increasingly popular among expats due to their vibrant communities and ongoing developments, offering a balance between cost and lifestyle.

Legal Considerations for Foreign Renters

As a foreigner renting in London, there are several legal aspects you should be aware of:

  • Right to Rent Checks: Introduced as part of the Immigration Act, landlords must check that all tenants aged 18 and over can legally rent residential property in the UK. This involves providing documents such as a passport or visa that prove your residency status.
  • Tenancy Agreements: Ensure you have a clear contract that outlines your and the landlord’s responsibilities. Standard tenancy agreements in London are Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST).
  • Deposits: Typically, landlords require a deposit equivalent to five weeks’ rent. This deposit should be protected in a government-approved scheme, and you should receive information about where your deposit is held.

Financial Considerations

Understanding and managing your finances is crucial when renting in London:

  • Rent Prices: As of 2024, the average rent varies significantly across different boroughs. Central areas are more expensive, while outer zones offer more affordable options.
  • Additional Costs: Be aware of additional costs such as council tax, utilities, internet, and possibly agency fees if you use a rental agent.
  • Exchange Rates: For those who earn or hold savings in foreign currencies, it’s important to consider exchange rate fluctuations when budgeting for rent and other expenses.

Tips for Finding Rental Properties

  • Use Reputable Sources: Websites like Zoopla, Rightmove, and local estate agents such as Homesearch Properties provide comprehensive listings and are a good starting point.
  • Consider a Rental Agent: Particularly useful for those unfamiliar with the area or the UK rental market. Agents can help navigate the search and negotiation process.
  • View Properties Personally: If possible, visit properties in person to get a true sense of the space and the neighborhood.

Living in London as a Foreigner

Living in London is an enriching experience, thanks to its cultural diversity, history, and vibrant social scene. To make the most out of your time in London:

  • Engage with the Community: London’s neighborhoods are known for their unique character. Participate in local events and activities to integrate into the community.
  • Explore Beyond Your Neighborhood: London is a city of endless discovery. From its parks and museums to theaters and restaurants, there’s always something new to experience.
  • Transport Links: Familiarize yourself with London’s extensive public transport network, including buses, trains, and the Underground, to ease your commute and explore the city.
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Cheapest Areas to Rent in London in 2024: Affordable Living in the Capital


London, the dynamic capital of the United Kingdom, offers a truly unique living experience that combines historical charm with the vibrancy of modern life. As a global city, it stands out for its incredible diversity, cultural richness, limitless opportunities and vibrant metropolis known for its rich history, diverse culture, and dynamic economy, also carries a reputation for high living costs.

Whether you’re considering moving to London or just curious about what it’s like to live in this bustling metropolis.

Here’s a glimpse into life in the City of London.

Unmatched Cultural Tapestry

London is celebrated for its vast cultural offerings. From world-class museums like the British Museum and the Tate Modern to historical sites such as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, the city is a treasure trove of activities. The West End’s glittering stages offer nightly performances ranging from timeless musicals to cutting-edge plays, making it a hub for theatre enthusiasts.

Culinary Delights

Foodies will find themselves at home amidst London’s culinary scene that features dishes from around the globe. Borough Market and Camden Market serve up a variety of street foods that reflect the city’s multicultural makeup. For those who enjoy fine dining, London boasts numerous Michelin-starred restaurants.

Green Spaces

Despite being an urban environment, London is surprisingly green. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the expansive parks and gardens scattered throughout the city. Hyde Park, Regents Park, and Hampstead Heath offer peaceful retreats from the urban hustle, providing spaces for picnics, sports, and leisurely strolls.

Economic Hub

London is a leading global city in the finance and business world. The City of London, known as the Square Mile, is the financial district where multinational corporations and major financial institutions, including the Bank of England, are located. This economic prowess makes London a city of opportunity with a dynamic job market.

Education and Learning

The city is a focal point for education, boasting some of the world’s leading universities and colleges like Imperial College London, London School of Economics, and University College London. The opportunities for academic advancement make it an attractive city for students from all over the world.

Transportation Links

London’s transport system is iconic, featuring the London Underground—the oldest underground railway network in the world. The extensive public transportation network also includes buses and river services, making it easy to navigate the city without a car.

Living Arrangements

Living in London offers a range of residential options, from Victorian terraced houses to modern apartments in towering skyscrapers. Neighborhoods like Notting Hill, Greenwich, and Shoreditch each offer their own unique character and lifestyle, catering to different tastes and preferences.

Cheapest areas to Rent in London in 2024

Even in such an expensive city, there are pockets where affordability is still a reality. In 2024, amidst fluctuating economic conditions, many prospective renters are seeking areas within London that are not only cost-effective but also offer a good quality of life. Here, we explore some of the cheapest areas to rent in London, focusing on their unique attributes and why they might be the right choice for budget-conscious residents.

1. Barking and Dagenham

Barking and Dagenham remains one of the most wallet-friendly boroughs in London. Known for its ongoing regeneration efforts, the area has seen a significant transformation over recent years. The average rent in Barking and Dagenham is considerably lower than the London average, making it an appealing option for those looking to save on housing costs. The borough boasts several green spaces, like Barking Park and Dagenham Chase, providing a breath of fresh air away from the city hustle.

 2. Croydon

South of the city center, Croydon offers a blend of affordable living with a touch of modern urban renewal. It is rapidly becoming a sought-after destination for both families and young professionals due to its relatively low rent, excellent transport links, and burgeoning arts scene. Croydon hosts Boxpark, which provides a contemporary space for dining and entertainment, drawing both locals and visitors alike.

 3. Sutton

Sutton is known for its safety, green spaces, and outstanding schools, making it ideal for families looking for an affordable suburb in London. The area offers a quieter lifestyle compared to the city’s bustling center, with rent prices that are attractive to those on a budget. Sutton’s commitment to environmental sustainability also makes it appealing to environmentally conscious renters.

 4. Havering

Bordering Essex, Havering combines the allure of suburban life with affordability. It is perfect for those who prefer a slower pace of life but still require easy access to central London. With its ample parks and open spaces, Havering offers a scenic backdrop for its residents. The area’s affordability does not compromise on the variety of local amenities and schools, making it a practical choice for families.

 5. Enfield

Located in North London, Enfield offers a balance between urban and rural living. The area’s rents are competitive, and it appeals to both families and young professionals. Enfield has numerous parks and historical sites, including the famous Forty Hall Estate and Whitewebbs Park, offering plenty of recreational activities for its residents.

 6. Lewisham

Lewisham is an up-and-coming area that has benefited from significant investment and redevelopment. It offers some of the most reasonable rental prices in South London. With improvements in local infrastructure and amenities, Lewisham is becoming more attractive to renters looking for value without straying too far from the city center.

 7. Hounslow

West of London, Hounslow provides affordable rental options with the added advantage of proximity to Heathrow Airport, making it ideal for frequent travelers. The area has a diverse community and offers a variety of culinary delights, shops, and parks, which contribute to its appeal.

 8. Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest, an area with a strong community vibe and rich cultural heritage, has seen its profile rise since being named the first London Borough of Culture in 2019. The area’s regeneration efforts have boosted its appeal, with more affordable housing projects and community initiatives enhancing its livability.


While London’s rental market can be daunting due to high prices, these areas demonstrate that affordable options still exist. By choosing locations like Barking and Dagenham, Croydon, or Hounslow, renters can enjoy a lower cost of living without sacrificing the benefits of residing in one of the world’s most dynamic cities. As we look towards the future, these boroughs provide promising opportunities for both saving money and enjoying a high quality of life in London.

For more insights and assistance on finding your ideal rental property in London, consider reaching out to experts at Homesearch Properties, who specialize in helping clients navigate the complex landscape of the London property market.

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LGIM boss calls for fewer ‘unscrupulous’ buy-to-let landlords in Britain


A top executive at Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM) has called for fewer buy-to-let landlords in Britain.

Global head of real assets at L&G, Bill Hughes, has lambasted what he describes as “unscrupulous” landlords, accusing many of providing poor quality housing and services for tenants.

Hughes, who is leading L&G’s charge into the build-to-rent sector, said the firm envisions a future where traditional landlords are replaced by purpose-built rental properties overseen by institutions.

According to Hughes, institutional investment will elevate rental standards and boost the economy.

He said: “You have got owners of rental property who are not managing them well. Unscrupulous landlords who are taking people’s deposits and giving them a bad experience.

“We’re here to reset standards of quality that renters should expect. That’s one of the things that institutional capital can do.

“You’re there at scale and very long-term and you know that your reputation matters so you’re not going to run the risk with it,” Hughes told The Telegraph.

Over the past eight years, L&G has invested £3bn to develop a portfolio of 10,000 build-to-rent homes, with 5,000 already occupied.

The number of build-to-rent properties has ballooned from 7,200 in 2015 to over 90,000 today, with another 90,000 units in the pipeline according to real estate company JLL.

But changes to stamp duty and tax relief for buy-to-let mortgages have strained landlords’ profitability, leading to a wave of property sales and driving up rental prices.

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Despite the calls for change, Chris Norris, policy director of the National Residential Landlords Association, argued there is a need for both build-to-rent and traditional buy-to-let models.

He said: “At a time when demand is far outstripping supply, we need more homes of all types. Whilst some of the demand for new rental properties will be met through build-to-rent schemes, it is not a panacea and should co-exist alongside buy-to-let.”