Living in London — How Much Does Life in Hackney Cost

Hackney 101

London Borough of Hackney is situated in north-east London. Surrounding boroughs are

  • Islington — to the West
  • Harighey — to the North
  • Waltham Forest — North-East
  • Newham — East
  • Tower Hamlets — South-east
  • City of London — South-west
Photo by Ewan Munro

This is one of the boroughs in London with relatively young population mostly between 25 and 34 years and fewer over 45. In fact the projected growth for the next 25 years is around 70,000 people mostly between 16 and 64 years. Not only the number of Hackney residents grow though, seems like its fame grew as well.

Not that long ago the area wasn’t that famous among Londoners. It was in fact named one of the worst places to live in the Capitol. However Hackney had been through some serious regeneration and it turned into one of the best areas to live in. With it’s diverse nature — parks, galleries, markets and great food, the borough is now a favourite place to many London residents and guests.

If you are looking though for a new place to live in and you are considering Hackney, one of the most intriguing matters to you probably is what will be the amount of your living expenses. So lets start from your new home.

Buying a House in Hackney

Although the average housing prices in Hackney have increased more than double over the past 10–15 years it’s still a cheaper place to live than many other boroughs. From 2000 to 2008 the prices were gradually increasing to average £300 000 for a property and after a small decrease in 2009 the average selling prices in the area now reach half a million pounds. But lets talk a bit more specific.

For February 2015 the average price for flats and apratments was £419,361 and for a house £1,134,702 . For the past 12 months there were gradual ups and downs in the house prices while flats and apartments pricing point remained relatively unchanged.

And while the prices are going sky high, as time passes by it seems like people are buying less. After 2007 when 3060 properties in Hackney were sold there was a significant drop down to 1446 in 2008.

As a summary it turns out that if you want to buy a home in London borough of Hackney, this will cost you 71% more than it would 7 years ago but it still will be 3.2% less the London average (£515,982). However what if you’’re not looking to break the bank with a big purchase but rent instead.

Scratch that — I’m Renting!

The average rental price in the area is £521 per week which is still 21.6% less than the average rent you’d pay in London (£665). Of course it depends if you’re looking for a studio or multiple bedroom property but in general the prices vary between £240 for a studio and £923 for 2 bed apartment (per week). The highest search there is for 2 bed apartments and although their average price per week is £511, their price range varies from a bit under £400 to nearly £1000.

Council Tax

This is one of the taxes that you’ll necessarily have to pay. In London Borough of Hackney the council tax for 2015/16 is frozen for 10th successive year and in fact slightly lower than is was for 2014/15. You can check how much the tax is for each of the 8 Valuation Bands on Hackney Council’s website.

House & Garden

Of course that new place to live in comes with more living expenses. And if you are busy working most of the time, some help is always welcomed. However just like with any other thing this also has a price and you can always find better rates than the average but note that the results after could be below average as well. So how much you’ll have to pay?

  • House Cleaning — House cleaning is a services that can include many things. From carpet or window cleaning specifically to one-off cleaning including the whole property. However for your regular cleaning you’ll have to pay anywhere from £9–10 per hour to up to £20 or more. Some of the professional cleaners in Hackney offer also many deals or discounts that can further ease your budget.
  • Eelectrical & Plumming — Again those are services that can consist only of the change of a few light bulbs and switches to major time consuming projects. Some service providers can charge up to £70–80 per hour. But again this depends on the nature of the problem you need solving. A good thing to know is that many companies offer half hourly rates but most of them won’t tell you. So if you have a simple job that wouldn’t take more than half an hour, be sure to ask when booking the service.
  • Handyman — Just like most of the services, depending on the amount of work you can book a handyman for half hours as this will cost you around £20 or about £40–50 per hour.
  • Pet Sitting — When it comes to prices for pet sitting, this is one of the cases when more means less. As in the more pets you have, the less you’ll pay. Pricing can start from £8 per hour to £15 or more depending on the details around your loving pet. If you are looking for a deal, when booking ask around as usually companies provide different combos at special rates.


In terms of transport Hackney Borough has made big investment and the results aren’t disappointing. Turns out that in the area more residents decide to cycle (15.4%) than drive (12.8%). This also makes Hackney the area with the highest number of people cycling to work than any other borough in London. An interesting fact is also that more people are likely to take the bus or cycle instead of use the Overground or drive. Useful to know is that Hackney lacks an underground stop but when a bike or walking aren’t an option, you can use a bus. Plus Hackney Central or Hackney Downs Railway Stations which are part of London Overground.

When it comes to money the amount will of course depend on the route and type of transport you choose. But best case scenario for your pocket ? — invest in a good bike if you don’t have to travel on long distances.


Food, Drinks & Night Life

Speaking of food you can’t really put a general price tag on this cause everyone has his own taste and preferences. On top of that with all of the various restaurants in Hackney you don’t get only a great kitchen diversity but also a great diversity when it comes to the price you pay. For a snack on a budget you can choose to visit some of the markets in the borough like Broadway or Hoxton Street market, or maybe something more exotic in Green Papaya or Mess Cafe where meals start from about £5.

Of course you can always visit some of the more expensive quirky restaurants in Shoreditch like Beach Blanket Babylon or Sheba. Shoreditch is also the place for those of you who love an occasional night out with friends as there are also many trendy bars and cafes.

If you are looking forward to the next movie premiere, Rio Cinema or Hackney Picturehouse are the places to be. Tickets start from £4.00 for students and kids, £7.00-£11.60 for adults to family tickets ranging between £18.00 and £31.00.

In the end it turns out that Hackney had come a long way and now is rather a desired place to live with many options for your free time. In terms of prices, although they have risen significantly over the past years, they are still below the average for London. So considering London Borough of Hackney for your next home might as well turn out to be your best decision.

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