2019 19.11

According to recent statistics by Zoopla, renting a home in the UK has become much more affordable. With many still struggling to get on the housing ladder, and renting becoming the no-choice option, where in the country can you get the most for your money?

In an article by the BBC, which quotes the latest stats by Zoopla, a typical tenant in the UK spends around a third of their earnings on rent. Whilst this appears an eye-wateringly large amount, this has actually fallen in the last couple of years. Since 2016, wages have risen by nearly 4%, whereas UK-wide rentals were up by an average of just 2%.

Does that mean renting is becoming more “affordable”? Perhaps, although, it depends where in the country you live. Zoopla says that those living in Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol saw the costs of renting a home rise fastest. However, those living in Aberdeen saw the biggest fall.

Those moving into a rental property in Nottingham during the summer of 2019 are paying 5.4% more rent compared to a year earlier. Similarly in Leeds and Bristol, rent was around 4.5% higher – meaning rents in these cities rose faster than the average wage increase. By contrast, in Scotland, tenants in Aberdeen saw rents drop by around 4.1%.

Despite these vast differences, experts at Zoopla claim that renting is “more affordable” than ever. In some cities, like London, or areas where wage growth as outstripped rental increases like in Leeds and Nottingham, prices have remained steady or even increased, but in general increases in rent have been steady.

The last 10 years particularly has seen a huge increase in the number of first time buyers, which Zoopla says, make up “around 80% of whom exit the private renting sector to buy”. In turn, that has moderated rental demand and therefore bought prices down. Aberdeen is perhaps the exception  to the rule, because it is very much linked to the local oil economy, which is how the rental market there is so easily affected.

If you are a landlord and would like any advice relating to tenancy agreements or even if you’re a tenant and not sure of your rights,  please contact Tamsin Reader, or you are thinking of purchasing your first home, speak to the Conveyancing team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.