Property News - Forget London, Oxford is the UK’s least affordable rental market



Posted on Monday, February 15, 2021

The latest data on the cost of renting from the Office for National Statistics was released last week showing that rents in England have increased to their highest level on record. 

While the average rent in London is double that of the national average, the latest research by lettings and estate agent Barrows and Forrester has found that London isn’t the least affordable rental market when it comes to rent as a percentage of income. 

Based on the latest data, their research shows that the average UK tenant is spending 47% of their monthly net income (£2,039) to cover the average cost of £959 in rent. 

At a regional UK level, tenants in London are paying the most, with 62% of the average London salary required to cover the monthly cost of renting. In contrast, tenants in Wales and the South East are paying less than half that (30%).

However, when breaking the UK down on a local level London takes a back seat to Oxford where the issue of rental affordability is concerned. 

With a monthly net salary of £1,946 and rental costs coming in at an average of £1,588 per month, tenants in Oxford are spending 82% of their monthly income on renting. 

There are a further 17 areas of the UK where the average rent accounts for 60% or more of the average monthly income, with the capital accounting for 14 of these least affordable rental markets. 

Hackney is the least affordable of all London boroughs and second least affordable behind Oxford, with 78% of the average income spent on rent. 

Outside of London, Exeter (67%) Brighton and Hove (66%) and Epping Forest (60%) also make the list of least affordable rental markets. 

Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented:

“The latest figures show that the cost of renting has continued to climb across the UK. This will put even further pressure on tenants who have largely seen the income available to them fail to keep pace with this growth.

While London remains the most expensive part of the rental market where outright cost is concerned, rental affordability is relative to income and in this respect, Oxford is the worst place to be a tenant at the moment. 

A string of government changes to the buy-to-let sector has dampened the financial return for many landlords in an attempt to address wider issues within the property market. Unfortunately, the knock-on effect of this is that a number of landlords have left the rental space, reducing the stock available to tenants and increasing rents even further. 

We need to reverse this trend in order to meet the high demand for rental properties if we are to attempt to reduce rental prices.”

Location

Average rent (pm)

Net salary (pm)

Rent as % of net salary

London

£1,644

£2,639

62%

South East

£999

£2,251

44%

South West

£818

£1,866

44%

East of England

£862

£2,124

41%

Scotland

£748

£1,944

38%

West Midlands

£671

£1,894

35%

Northern Ireland

£627

£1,798

35%

East Midlands

£639

£1,884

34%

Yorkshire and the Humber

£614

£1,831

34%

North West

£629

£1,885

33%

North East

£542

£1,799

30%

Wales

£539

£1,792

30%

United Kingdom

£959

£2,039

47%

       

Least affordable rental markets

Location

Average rent (pm)

Net salary (pm)

Rent as % of net salary

Oxford

£1,588

£1,946

82%

Hackney

£1,842

£2,360

78%

Westminster

£3,046

£4,038

75%

Lambeth

£1,908

£2,565

74%

Newham

£1,453

£2,007

72%

Haringey

£1,669

£2,350

71%

Camden

£2,302

£3,387

68%

Brent

£1,502

£2,217

68%

Exeter

£1,201

£1,801

67%

Barking and Dagenham

£1,208

£1,816

67%

Brighton and Hove

£1,360

£2,054

66%

Hammersmith and Fulham

£2,117

£3,209

66%

Ealing

£1,569

£2,431

65%

Southwark

£1,718

£2,717

63%

Islington

£2,003

£3,195

63%

Enfield

£1,292

£2,114.96

61%

Epping Forest

£1,369

£2,261.61

61%

Barnet

£1,499

£2,498.08

60%

       

Least affordable rental markets excluding London

Location

Average rent (pm)

Net salary (pm)

Rent as % of net salary

Oxford

£1,588

£1,946

82%

Exeter

£1,201

£1,801

67%

Brighton and Hove

£1,360

£2,054

66%

Epping Forest

£1,369

£2,262

61%

Bath and North East Somerset

£1,223

£2,050

60%

Bristol

£1,175

£1,974

60%

Midlothian

£1,084

£1,887

57%

Cambridge

£1,250

£2,186

57%

East Lothian

£1,084

£1,949

56%

Three Rivers

£1,280

£2,347

55%

Mole Valley

£1,268

£2,327

54%

West Oxfordshire

£1,108

£2,038

54%

Harlow

£1,006

£1,853

54%

Crawley

£1,004

£1,856

54%

Chiltern

£1,455

£2,744

53%






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