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Average rents in London, long higher than anywhere else in the country, have started to decline. The pandemic and repeated lockdowns have robbed the city of distractions, weakened ties to the office, and left people desperate for more spacious living. Already foreign workers, who staffed much of the city’s once thriving hospitality sector have left in droves. Joining them has been a stream of British workers drawn to the idea of country-living or, at the very least, a nice house with a garden instead of a cramped and crowded flat.As demand has dropped off so have rents. Rent prices in inner London were down by 8 per cent in 2020’s fourth quarter compared with the previous year, according to data gathered by the UK flatsharing and rental site SpareRoom. Only Birmingham and Edinburgh – where SpareRoom recorded drops in average rents of 6 per cent and 5 per cent respectively – have seen anywhere near a similar decline.