Cleaning up London

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

Ali

 

Introduction

We reviewed existing articles and conducted our own proprietary research to establish the cost of hiring a cleaner in London. We also compared London prices with other major UK cities and tracked how London prices have evolved in recent years.

 

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. 

The first 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.

The second 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 hour with an average going rate of £12. By comparison, cleaning agencies charge between £12 and £20 per hour.

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.

None of the articles provided detailed sources for their information. The price guidance is broad and appears to be quite anecdotal. In addition, much has changed during 2020. We wanted to understand how prices have changed post-Covid by undertaking a robust analysis of cleaning agency prices. 

 

Our house cleaning rate analysis

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 2020

Based on our analysis, it costs an average of £14.29 per hour for a weekly clean, £14.39 per hour for a fortnightly clean and £16.01 for a one-off.

 

Weekly

Fortnightly

One-off

Number of companies

16

16

11

Average price £

14.29

14.39

16.01

Low price £

12.00

12.00

14.00

High price £

16.00

16.00

23.00

Of the 16 cleaning companies analysed, only two had different prices for weekly and fortnightly bookings, one being £0.50 per hour more expensive for fortnightly and the other £1.00 more expensive.

Five of the 16 companies did not provide one-off services. Of the remaining 11 companies, four 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 £0.50 to £7.00 per hour. 

 

Evolution of London domestic cleaning prices

We tracked the cleaning rates for the five largest cleaning companies in London over the past three years. Hourly rates were stable and averaged around £13.50 throughout 2018 and 2019. By January 2020, the average price for a weekly clean increased to £13.65 per hour as two players increased their rates by £1.00 and £0.30 respectively. 

As Covid-19 adversely impacted 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.

According to our analysis, over the course of the past 12 months, the average price for a weekly clean has risen by around £0.50 to over £14.00 per hour. As the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns reduced demand for domestic cleaning services, rates have increased to compensate in line with micro-economic conventions.

 

London cleaning rates versus the rest of the UK

We analysed the price of cleaners in other major cities in the UK. We expected house cleaning rates to vary in cities based on two factors.

  • Local labour costs

  • Level of competition

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.

However, the level of competition is also a major factor on house cleaning prices. Significant venture capital investment has been made in the London cleaning sector. Several VC-backed companies have offered cleaning services at exceptionally low prices in a bid to gain market share quickly in a “land grab”. In 2014-2016, many new cleaning agencies were offering house cleaning at £10 per hour. Over the past six years, venture capital money has constrained house cleaner prices in London.

The overall result from these two counteracting drivers is that London prices are broadly in line with the rest of the UK.

Weekly hourly rates

   Average

Low

High

London

14.29

12.00

16.00

Birmingham

14.35

10.82

18.00

Manchester

14.31

10.82

18.00

Edinburgh

13.45

9.60

19.33

Glasgow

13.86

11.32

16.60

In London, Birmingham and Manchester the average hourly rate for a cleaner for a weekly booking is in a tight range of £14.29 to £14.35 per hour. The hourly rates for Edinburgh and Glasgow are slightly lower.

Whilst average hourly rates in the UK are consistent, the range of prices is much wider outside London. This reflects a less competitive market where players can set prices according to their brand and service rather than being driven by competitors. In London, the range of prices is much tighter reflecting higher competition.

Several competitors are active in more than one city. In general, with the exception of London, their prices tend to be the same for each city. This is reflected in the data for Birmingham and Manchester where the low and high prices are taken from the same competitors. There are some exceptions where some companies have different prices for different cities, particularly for Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

 

Summary

House cleaning prices in London are good value at an average of £14.29 per hour for a weekly clean. 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. London domestic cleaning services prices have increased marginally in 2020 resulting from a fall in demand from the Covid-19 pandemic.