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Where are the cheapest areas to rent in the UK?

Posted on 2021-09-29

With rent prices currently on the rise in the UK, and tenant demand the highest it’s been on record, this has left many people considering broadening their horizons and looking into new areas to live when searching for rental accommodation.

Of course, there are many other factors to take into account when deciding where to live, such as public transport, local amenities and job opportunities, but with flexible working and working from home seemingly here to stay for the long-term, there’s never been a better time to find somewhere new to live.

Using data from referencing checks from over 4,500 letting agents, HomeLet are able to compile the largest and most insightful view of the UK’s private rental sector (PRS) to see average rent prices and their trends – so where are the most cost-effective regions to rent in according to the HomeLet Rental Index (HRI)?

In August 2021, average rents across the whole of the UK saw a 2.3% increase on the previous month, showing that rent prices are continuing to rise.

The cheapest average monthly rent – according to the HRI – can be found in the North East, where the average monthly cost was £572 – over £100 less than any other region of the UK.

The North East also shows an annual increase of 4.8%, over 2% lower than that of the whole of the UK, which has increased by 6.9% annually, showing that rental prices are also increasing at a slower rate in this area compared to the rest of the country – meaning that if long-term competitive rent is a priority, the North East is a great option to consider.

The next cheapest region in the UK is Northern Ireland, with an average rental price of £704 in August’s HRI. This is followed by three other regions below £750 – Wales (£723), Yorkshire & Humberside (£724) and the East Midlands (£742) which all also represent cheaper options for tenants compared to the rest of the UK.

If you’re looking to live in the south, the cheapest region is the South West, with average monthly rental prices of £1,006, only 1.7% higher than the previous month, however, this is a 11.9% increase over August 2020’s figure.

Despite being the only region in the UK yet to reach pre-pandemic rates, and plenty of reports of people moving away from the capital over the Covid period, Greater London still shows the highest average price in the UK, with August’s average figure coming in at £1,713, over £500 more expensive per month than the next highest region.

All areas of the UK will have different advantages and disadvantages, and suit different people depending on their needs, and there are many more factors to consider when deciding on a new area to move to so it is worth looking into each area you are considering in more detail. But if cheap rent is a priority, the regions outlined in this article are a great place to start.

If you’re looking to change your surroundings in the near future, make sure you keep an eye on the HomeLet Rental Index, updated monthly, to see the latest trends in rental prices across the UK.

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