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The Renting Divide / 13.11.2018

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The average cost of renting a one bedroom home in the UK is £600. But that’s an average. The true costs per region show a massive variation in rents and value for money.

As we all know, London is the most expensive place to buy and rent property however, within London itself there is a huge range of prices. A one bedroom flat in the most expensive borough, Westminster will cost £3,500 on average. Ten miles away, in Abbey Wood, you can rent a one bedroom flat for under £800 per month.

Outside of London, £800 looks expensive. In Newcastle the same 1 bedroom flat can be had for £500 per month.

Rents are rising fastest in the East with Cambridge outstripping the rest of the country by some margin. In the last 5 years, rents in Cambridge have risen by 66% and are still going up. The rise has been fuelled by the influx of tech and pharmaceutical businesses to the city, not to mention the University growing on the back of tuition fees. With Papworth hospital set to move to the Addenbrooks Hospital site next year, even the massive number of new homes being built cannot keep up with demand. This means house prices and rents will continue to rise.

One way young people are getting better value for money is by house or flat sharing. Although the average one bedroom property is £600 per month, the average two bedroom property is £750 so, if you can find a flatmate, the cost per person goes down to £325. Going for a 3 bedroom property works out cheaper still and with the average rental £750 that’s £250 each.

In the Capital, house sharing makes even more sense. The average 3 bed property costs £1,750 so £583 each compared to £1,237 for the average one bed.

Renting remains a young person’s game with over 60% of people aged under 25 living in a private rental. The high cost of home ownership however means that more and more older people are remaining in rented property. Over 40% are still renting by their mid-30s and over 20% by their mid-40s.

In 1995, 65% of middle income 25 to 35 year old people owned their own home. Over 20 years later, this figure has dropped to just 27% and continues to fall. It looks like these figures are going to keep getting worse with renting likely to outstrip home ownership in some areas in the next 10 years.


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