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Plymouth: The UK’s most affordable city to rent a home

Posted on 2014-12-23

The recent HomeLet Rental Index has led us to uncover which UK city is the most affordable place to rent a home. We looked at what percentage of tenants’ average monthly net-income is taken up by their rental costs in each city. The lowest percentage, and therefore most affordable, was revealed to be in the coastal city of Plymouth.

With an average income of £30,586 and an average monthly rent of £510, Plymouth is the cheapest city in which to rent a home, with the percentage spent on rent standing at just over a quarter of net income at 27%. When compared to cities like Edinburgh and London, where renters are spending 47% and 49% of their wages respectively, it’s easy to see just how affordable it is to live in Plymouth.

Why choose Plymouth?

Even with such affordable rental costs, Plymouth may not strike you as the most obvious place to consider moving to, above other big UK cities, but there are a number of very positive aspects to living there. Should tenants choose to move to Plymouth and take advantage of the superb rent-to-income ratio, they could make the most of some of the following:

A stunning waterfront

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Thanks to its coastal location, Plymouth has a stunning waterfront. Its old harbour is now a popular tourist area known as The Barbican and is home to a variety of shops, the National Marine Aquarium and many attractions based around naval and maritime history. During the evenings the waterfront’s a popular spot for socialising, with a number of bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from.

Naturally, many of the best dining experiences Plymouth can offer involve seafood. A number of exquisite bistros in and around this area can serve you a sublime array of freshly caught fish dishes.

Alternatively, there’s the celebrated West Hoe Fish Fryers - which the locals will claim offers the finest Fish and Chips in Plymouth. There’s also an annual Seafood Festival held every September that sees some of the finest chefs showcasing their culinary talents.

If you search beyond the waterfront, you can find several gourmet hotspots from some of the biggest names in cooking. Plymouth-born celebrity chefs Chris and James Tanner have their own restaurant in the city, the Barbican Kitchen, while Gary Rhodes runs his restaurant, The Dome, on the picturesque Plymouth Hoe.

Famous cultural landmarks

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One of the more famous landmarks Plymouth is known for is Smeaton’s Tower. This former lighthouse stands proud, looking down over the city from its location on Plymouth Hoe.

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Another cultural icon of the city is the Barbican Prawn, which pays homage to the previous fishing industry of the city’s old harbour.

Excellent amenities and commuter links

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On top of its interesting cultural aspects, the city offers many amenities and conveniences to both residents and visitors. Regular transport links are available in the city and surrounding areas, and it’s only three hours to London by train. Plymouth also boasts a number of excellent schools and colleges, as well as two Universities.

All the public services you’d expect from a major city can be found here and, in terms of property, it appears there’s something for everyone – with a range of modern, urban, traditional and rural housing available.

Notable and famous residents

On top of a number of famous chefs, Plymouth has many local heroes across a variety of fields and performing arts. The city’s most celebrated sports personality is Olympic diver Tom Daley, who still trains in his home town and is often spotted at local gyms and sports centres.

Hollywood actress and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and comedian Josh Widdicombe are two famous names from television who hail from the area and, although technically from neighbouring Tavistock, Sir Francis Drake spent a large portion of his life in Plymouth and frequently set sail from the harbour on many of his famous voyages.

Explore the countryside

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After exploring the city centre and the waterfront, residents also have the benefit of being on the doorstep of Dartmoor National Park. Here you can take in some amazing natural views and enjoy a number of walks, plus there’s a huge choice of activities for all the family.

From the Dartmoor Hawking and Falconry Experience, to the beautiful Bellever Forest, as well as everything from rock climbing to golf, you certainly won’t be short of things to do.

With all this in mind, it seems as though Plymouth is quite a bargain for its tenants. Not only do you have all the facilities and amenities you need to live comfortably, you get a wealth of culture, local history and leisure activities. It’ll be interesting to see whether the city sees an increase in people looking to rent in the near future, but with so much to offer there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.

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