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HomePropertyWhere are the most affordable & least affordable cities to rent in the UK, in 2020?

Where are the most affordable & least affordable cities to rent in the UK, in 2020?

by LLP Staff Reporter
17th Oct 20 2:37 pm

Recent data has shown that just 16 cities in the UK are affordable to rent in. To maintain an adequate standard of living, experts advise that tenants shouldn’t spend more than 30% of their gross income salary on rent.

Using average income salary and rental price data for cities, it can reveal that Durham is the most affordable city to rent in the UK for the second year running. Renting a property in Durham requires just 21% of your monthly salary going towards rent. In 2019, 23% of your salary would be expected to be put towards rent in Durham.

The northern cities continue to top the ‘most affordable’ charts with Hull only requiring you to spend 23% of your salary on rent. Close behind are Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Carlisle where you’re required to spend only 24% of your salary on rent.

At the other end of the scale, Oxford has been crowned crowned 2020’s ‘least affordable city to rent in’, where 66% of your salary is needed to be put towards rent. In 2019, the most unaffordable city to rent in was Brighton, which this year, now sits in 4th position. The trend continues with the southern cities appearing high on the ‘least affordable’ chart. Renting in Exeter requires 55% of your monthly salary and in both City of Westminster and Brighton, you will be expected to spend 53% of your salary on rental payments.

Openpropertygroup.com Managing Director, Jason Harris-Cohen said, “The North continues to dominate the most affordable cities except for Manchester. I am surprised that Manchester is considered a least affordable city, albeit the city is highly sought after from property buyers and renters, and this would naturally increase rents with supply and demand imbalances

I am noticing constraint supply of rental properties as numerous macro factors have prompted landlord to obtain vacant possession of their properties and cease the tenancies. Some of the factors stimulating these problems are the current recession, COVID-19, increased taxation, new regulations and unemployment or reduced earnings, which may necessitate the need for landlords to release equity from their properties.

Despite the sales market being challenging, the rental market has remained buoyant and constraint availability, thus keeping rental prices strong.”

2020 Rental Affordability Index

Most affordable – Spending more than 30% of their gross income salary on rent
City2020 Average Monthly Rental Property Price2020 Average Gross Annual Salary2020 ACTUAL % of Monthly Income on Rent
Durham

(2019 Position = 1st)

 

£492

 

£27,594

 

21%
Hull

(2019 Position = 4th)

£438£25,16523%
Stoke-on-Trent

(2019 Position = 5th)

£497£25,18524%
Derby

(2019 Position = 20th)

£591£29,89524%
Carlisle

(2019 Position = 7th)

£488£24,50324%
Lancaster

(2019 Position = 3rd)

£574£27,63925%
Liverpool

(2019 Position = 2nd)

£557£26,68725%
Bradford

(2019 Position = 6th)

£554£26,08625%
Sunderland

(2019 Position = 8th)

£516£24,16726%
Wakefield

(2019 Position = 13th)

£563£25,53526%
Chester

(2019 Position = 9th)

£686£30,55727%
Preston

(2019 Position = 10th)

£559£24,48627%
Wolverhampton

(2019 Position = 26th)

£578£24,78428%

Least affordable – Spending less than 30% of their gross income salary on rent
City2020 Average Monthly Rental Property Price2020 Average Gross Annual Salary2020 ACTUAL % of Monthly Income on Rent
Oxford

(2019 Position = 3rd)

£1,588£28,98366%
Exeter

(2019 Position = 4th)

£1,288£29,90055%
City of Westminster

(2019 Position = 8th)

£3,046£68,65853%
Brighton

(2019 Position = 1st)

£1,360£30,89953%
Bristol

(2019 Position = 5th)

£1,175£29,47248%
Bath

(2019 Position = 2nd)

£1,223£30,82848%
Cambridge

(2019 Position = 7th)

£1,250£33,22545%
Manchester

(2019 Position = 9th)

£836£25,60939%
Portsmouth

(2019 Position = 13th)

£818£25,91338%
Norwich

(2019 Position = 14th)

£815£26,35337%
Southampton

(2019 Position = 12th)

£801£26,04937%
Chelmsford

(2019 Position = 20th)

£979£32,84936%
Salford

(2019 Position = 28th)

£751£25,64935%

 

Sources: ONS Rental Price Index 2020 and ONS Labour market statistics for England.

Assumptions – data for 49 cities was available and affordability is based on a single tenant not spending more than 30% of their city’s average gross income salary towards that city’s rental payments. To calculate the affordability by city we have divided the average gross annual salary and found the disparity between this figure and the average monthly rental fee per city. If they were spending over 30% of their gross income salary towards rent, this was deemed as ‘unaffordable’.

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