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The 5 costliest cities to rent in

Posted on 2014-12-17

The results of the HomeLet rental index are out and, as always, they make for compelling viewing, with some incredibly interesting headlines. As part of our index, we took a detailed look at 16 of the UK’s largest cities in order to discover their cost to rent in relation to the local income. Here, we show you the results: the UK’s 5 costliest cities to rent in, as well as a short explanation of why tenants would like to live there.

#5 Bristol – 43% of income spent on rent**


England’s 6th most populous city, Bristol is the first to appear on our list, with tenants spending 43% of their income on rent on average.

The city of bridges, boats and Banksy, Bristol has a fantastic array of things to see and do, and remains popular for tenants for this very reason.

Bristol is split neatly into districts and areas, with each one having its own unique charm. From the shopping quarter (which has over 500 stores) to Clifton to The Harbourside, there's something to suit everyone’s tastes, making it a sought after location for people of all ages.

#4 Cambridge - 43% of income spent on rent


Slightly ahead of Bristol, and also with 43% of income spent on rent on average, is the quintessentially English city of Cambridge.

Famed for its world renowned university, Cambridge is located on the River Cam and has strong historic links to the Vikings and the Romans.

The city is well populated with students (there are almost 25,000), but Cambridge is now at the heart of a technology centre known as Silicon Fen. With the city continuously growing more economically strong, it's easy to see why tenants who work in the technology sector wish to locate here.

#3 Birmingham - 47% of income spent on rent


Britain’s second most populous city, Birmingham is the UK’s 3rd most costly city to rent in terms of percentage of income spent.

Now an international commerce centre and a beta-world city, Birmingham has become an increasingly popular location to rent in.

As well as commerce, Birmingham also has six universities and is home to influential art, music and literary movements.

Famously with more canals than Venice, it seems as though the city of Birmingham really does have something to suit every tenant, making competition high.

#2 Edinburgh - 47% of income spent on rent


The recognised capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh's incredibly popular with tourists and inhabitants alike.

Home to Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh castle, Edinburgh even contains a UNESCO World Heritage site (the Old Town and New Town combined), and is widely regarded as one of the UK’s best centres for education; particularly in the field of medicine.

As well as this, Edinburgh is a great home for the art lovers, with the city hosting the Edinburgh Fringe annually, as well as the Edinburgh International Festival. With an average of 47% of income spent on rent, Edinburgh is certainly costly, and it stretches affordability for many.

#1 London - 49% of income spent on rent


The capital city of England and the most populous city in the UK, to many it will come as no surprise that London tops the list of costliest cities to rent in, with 49% of income spent on rent.

However, in spite of affordability being stretched, it's noticeable that London isn't significantly more expensive than Edinburgh or Birmingham, and with a great number of jobs on offer as well as strength in arts, commerce, fashion and finance (among other sectors), it's perhaps unsurprising that tenants are willing to spend that little bit extra to live in London.

** Figures are calculated based on a tenant living on their own in an averagely priced property in the area, and earning the average wage for the area.

All images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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