HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A CLEANER IN LONDON?

Ali

 

  1. Hourly cleaning rates in London

Introduction

UK house cleaning prices have been increasing. How much does a cleaner cost per hour in the UK?

We conducted a comprehensive analysis of domestic cleaning prices in the UK. We have conducted the most comprehensive analysis of domestic cleaning prices in the UK. We conducted our own proprietary research to establish the cost of hiring a cleaner in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. We also tracked how home cleaning  prices have evolved in recent years.

As well as our own proprietary analysis, we summarised pricing information from third-party sources in the appendix. However, this information is more anecdotal in nature than analytical.

Methodology

We focused our analysis on the leading cleaning service providers in London. As market share and revenue data is not readily available, we identified the leading players by their organic search engine ranking and by estimating their online marketing spend. 

For the leading cleaning agencies in our survey, we obtained prices for weekly, fortnightly and one-off bookings. We standardised our approach to make prices comparable on an hourly basis. 

Hourly cleaning rates in London in November 2021

Based on our analysis, it costs an average of £15.70 per hour for a weekly clean, £15.92 per hour for a fortnightly clean and £17.51 for a one-off.

   

Year 2021

   

Year 2020

 
 

Weekly

Fnightly

 

One-off

 

Weekly

 

Fnightly

 

One-off

Number of companies

27

27

24

16

16

11

Average price £

15.70

15.92

17.51

14.29

14.39

16.01

Low price £

13.00

13.00

13.00

12.00

12.00

14.00

High price £

19.20

27.00

29.00

16.00

16.00

23.00

Source: TidyChoice analysis

Hourly rates for weekly bookings in London

The price of weekly bookings varies from £13.00 up to £19.20 per hour. Both the low and high prices are outliers and 21 of the 27 cleaning companies have prices in the £14.00 to £17.00 per hour range. The overall average price for a weekly clean in London is £15.70 per hour.

Hourly rates for fortnightly bookings in London

All 27 cleaning companies analysed provide fortnightly as well as weekly services. The vast majority of cleaning companies offer weekly and fortnightly cleaning services at the same rate. Only five companies in our sample had different prices. Four of the five charged £1/hour more for fortnightly services whilst the other charged £2/hour more than for weekly services. The average price for a fortnightly clean in London is £15.92 per hour.

Hourly rates for one-off bookings in London

Three of the cleaning companies analysed do not provide one-off services. Of the remaining 24 companies, eight companies offer the same price for one-off bookings as for weekly and fortnightly. Most companies add a premium for one-off bookings ranging from £1.00 to £8.00 per hour. The overall average price for a one-off clean in London is £17.51 per hour.

  1. Recent evolution of London domestic cleaning prices

Introduction

Since 2018 we have tracked the cleaning rates for the five largest cleaning companies in London. In addition, in 2020 and 2021, we carried out more comprehensive analysis to include all the leading players in the London domestic cleaning services market. From this data, we can track the evolution of London domestic cleaning prices accurately from 2018 onwards. 

London cleaning prices from 2014 to 2017

During 2014 to 2017, traditional cleaning agencies were joined by new online brands. Significant venture capital investment was made in the London cleaning sector.

Several VC-backed companies entered the London market offering cleaning services at exceptionally low prices in a bid to gain market share quickly in a “land grab”. During this period, many new cleaning agencies were offering house cleaning at £10 per hour. 

Venture capital money disrupted the market and we estimate that the average cost for domestic cleaning was less than £12 per hour during this period.

London cleaning prices in 2018 and 2019

There were no significant price changes from the leading home cleaning players in 2018 or 2019. Hourly rates were stable and averaged around £13.50 an hour throughout this period. 

London cleaning prices in 2020 

By January 2020, the average price for a weekly clean had risen to £13.65 per hour as two players increased their rates by £1.00 and £0.30 respectively. As Covid-19 adversely impacted sales volumes in the house cleaning industry, two further price increases of £1.00 and £0.20 brought the average price to £13.99 in July 2020 before one further £0.25 price increase moved the average to £14.04 per hour. 

In November 2020, we analysed a total of 16 cleaning companies as well as the top five companies that we had been tracking. We found that the average price for a weekly clean in London was £14.29 per hour.

London cleaning prices in 2021

In November 2021, we expanded our analysis to incorporate 27 cleaning companies. According to our analysis, in the 12 months from November 2020 until November 2021, the average price for a weekly clean rose by 9.9% from £14.29 to £15.70 per hour. 

In July 2021, the average price of our November sample was £14.53. Over the following four months, only six companies maintained prices at the same level whilst 21 companies increased their prices. During this period, price increases for weekly cleans ranged from £0.75 to £3.00 per hour.

Price increases were mainly driven by two factors. Firstly, demand for domestic cleaning services had been severely blunted by repeated lockdowns. The home cleaning sector had shrunk considerably and companies needed to increase prices and margins to compensate for a lack of revenue in order to survive. 

Secondly, as the economy sprang back into life after pandemic lockdowns, there was a much tighter labour market and cleaning companies had to offer higher rates of pay to get cleaners. 

London cleaning prices per hour versus the rest of the UK

Introduction

We analysed the price of cleaners in other major cities in the UK, including Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. For these cities, we used the same methodology as London. We identified the leading players in each city and analysed their prices. Sample sizes are smaller than London.

Hourly cleaning rates in UK cities

We have summarised the hourly cost of a weekly clean for London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol in the table below.

Weekly hourly rates

Number of companies

Average £ 

Low £

High £

London 

27

15.70

13.00

19.20

Birmingham 

10

14.74

12.35

18.00

Manchester 

11

14.89

11.47

18.00

Bristol 

9

16.71

12.75

22.50

Source: TidyChoice analysis

Birmingham and Manchester have similar market dynamics and pricing. Two large national franchises offer the same prices in both markets. Regional players offer a variety of prices in each market which broadly average out at the same level.

As might be expected, average prices are higher in London than most other major UK cities. London’s high cost of living means cleaners are paid more per hour and this additional cost is passed onto consumers. However, larger cleaning companies with economies of scale can absorb these higher costs. In addition, fierce competition in the London market restrains prices.

Average hourly rates in Bristol appear to be higher than other UK cities. One of the national franchises charges £18/hour in Bristol which is considerably more than their prices in other UK cities. There also appears to be less local players offering cleaning services at the lower end of the pricing range. It is possible that a lower level of competition is responsible for higher prices.

Key drivers for cleaning prices in UK cities

We have summarised the main factors that account for the variations in cleaning prices in UK cities.

Market size and competition

Barriers to entry are relatively low in the home cleaning sector so large markets attract competitors. Market competition keeps prices low. 

The leading players in large markets can invest in technology to build economies of scale. By leveraging efficiencies in booking, scheduling, payments and customer services, large players can pass scale benefits onto their customers in the form of lower prices. 

In the table below, we have used city population to compare market sizes. For the level of competition in each city, we have used a number of data points, including the presence of large national franchises, domain ranking of leading players, concentration of online searches and the cost of high volume keywords.

City

Conurbation population (m)

City population

Competitiveness

London

14.4

9.0

Strong

Birmingham

2.4

1.1

Medium

Manchester

2.8

0.5

Medium

Bristol

1.1

0.5

Weak

London is the largest and most attractive market but has the highest level of competition. Birmingham and Manchester have similar market dynamics whilst Bristol is a smaller, less competitive market. 

How much cleaners are paid

Hourly rates of pay for cleaners is by far the biggest cost for cleaning companies. Overall, cleaner pay rates are the most important factor driving cleaning prices.

We conducted proprietary research to find out pay rates for cleaners in selected UK cities. Some cleaning companies provide cleaner hourly rates of pay on their websites or in recruitment advertising. For some cleaning companies, we made applications to join as a cleaner to find out pay rates.

We obtained rates for 15 cleaning companies in London. Of the 15 companies, 7 offered cleaners a fixed rate whilst 8 offered a range of pay rates. With these 8 companies, generally cleaners could earn more the longer they are working with the company. In some instances, cleaners could earn more if they get more positive reviews from their customers.

The vast majority of the analysed companies offered a starting rate of £9.00 per hour. We estimate that the weighted average pay rate for cleaners in London is around £9.61/hour. The highest average hourly rate for cleaners is £15/hour for a same day service and £14/hour for normal cleaning services. However, the average “high rate” of pay is £11.44 per hour.

Local labour costs

Local labour costs impact not only the hourly rate of the cleaner but also the wages and salaries of the staff running the cleaning company. Because of the cost of living in London, wages are higher and we would expect to see this higher cost reflected in higher house cleaning rates.

Summary

Although house cleaning prices in London have increased in recent months, they are still good value at an average of £15.70 per hour for a weekly clean. We would expect price increases to continue due to inflationary and labour market pressures.

Despite higher wages in London, the price of a cleaner is broadly in line with the rest of the UK due to a highly competitive London market. 

The easiest way to find the best value cleaners in London is to book on TidyChoice.

AppendixOther articles on house cleaning prices 

We explored online to find data for the cost of a cleaner in London.  We found only three articles that give price ranges for London cleaners. 

  1. Article on prices from April 2018

An article written in April 2018, gives a broad price range of £10 to £20 per hour for domestic cleaning services. It notes that prices vary according to the source of the cleaning service. For example, hiring a cleaner directly is cheaper than hiring through an agency or a cleaning company. This makes sense because the agency or cleaning company bears the cost of vetting cleaners and managing the service.

The article advises that hiring an independent cleaner directly costs between £10 and £12 per hour, hiring a cleaning agency costs £12 to £20 per hour and hiring uniformed staff from a cleaning company costs £20 to £30 per hour.

  1. Article on prices from March 2020

An article written in March 2020, suggests a price range of £8 to £20 per hour in the UK. The article states that prices vary according to location and source of the cleaning service.It states that prices tend to be higher in London and the South East than the rest of the UK.

According to the article, for independent cleaners the rate is around £10 to £15 an hour with an average going rate of £12. By comparison, cleaning agencies charge between £12 and £20 per hour.

  1. Article on prices in November 2020

The third article written in November 2020 states that the average cost of a cleaner in the UK varies according to city, from £12 to £23 per hour. The average cost in London was £17 per hour.

Related articles

Overview Of The Uk Cleaning Sector

Trends In The Uk House Cleaning Industry

How Large Is The Uk Cleaning Industry?

How Home Cleaning Changed During Lockdown