The One Bedroom London Flat: No longer a stepping stone for London property buyers

Feb 23, 2015

To many the idea of a property that costs £10m is mind boggling. But when you consider that for that price tag you only get one bedroom, then you would be forgiven for thinking perhaps someone along the line has made a mistake, even where the London market is concerned.

Alas you would be wrong, because that is the price you would pay for a one bedroom flat in the prestigious development of One Hyde Park. The self-confessed most exclusive address in the world combines a mix of beautiful architecture, luxury décor and a service that is second to none. But then for that sort of price you wouldn’t expect any less.

There must be a demand for such properties as there wouldn’t be the resulting supply. But it begs the question that with a lack of affordable housing in the capital in particular, is this space and money well spent?

With the average London house price of £502,000* proving too much for most to afford as it is, a property costing nearly 20 times this is without a doubt only going to appeal to a select few. Add the cost of £1.1m in stamp duty and the threat of a potential mansion tax and the phrase more “money than sense” doesn’t even come in to it.

Granted the one bedroom you do get is substantially bigger than that of your average one bedroom flat in Brixton and the perks of such a price tag include 24 hour security, an in-house maid service and same day laundry. Not to mention facilities such as a spa, squash court and cinema.

But this isn’t the sort of lifestyle the humble one bed abode was made for. There was a day when opting for a smaller property was a consequence of paying less and a way of getting on the London property ladder. However now even the smallest London property can set you back over the average.

A one bedroom flat should be about slumming it to a certain extent, it should be about enjoying the luxury of a door to separate bedroom from lounge, and viewing it as such. It should be about squeezing all of you furniture into two rooms and being grateful that you have a place to call your own.

But the fantasy of living in London has escalated to the point where people have become deluded on the price a shoe box should fetch on the market. Living in your first flat should be a rite of passage to entering the property market, making you appreciate what you have in later life as you progress up the ladder and gain a bedroom or two.

But how anyone is supposed to do so when even renting a one bedroom residents in the capital is increasingly unaffordable? It is something that needs to be addressed as more and more of us are forced out of London to pastures greener, or at least pastures cheaper.’s London Hotspot Index found the average cost of a one bedroom flat across London is £448,000, with the cheapest still costing up to £140,000 in the Dagenham area. This cost is drastically higher than the rest of the country. Take Glasgow, Hull or Doncaster for example, all areas that have enjoyed an increase in property demand during 2014 and across the major property portals there are a number of one bedroom flats for £100,000 or under.*

As prime central London property demand declines, properties like the ones in One Hyde Park could potentially sit there dormant while the government scratch their heads as to where to find the space for more housing. Meanwhile many average UK citizens unable to afford even a one bed flat are forced to forsake the stepping stone that allows them to get a foot in the door of the property market.

*Average London house price sourced from the Office for National Statistics.

* London and National Hotspots Index is a quarterly index showcasing demand in the UK’s 100 largest locations. Demand is based on total inventory available across the UK’s major property portals, including Zoopla, Rightmove and Prime Location.