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Generation rent? National variation in rental rates revealed

Second only to London, Manchester ranks as the top location for renting.

The rise in interest rates in the face of rampant inflation has aggravated the crisis by pushing would-be buyers in New York to rent. — © AFP
The rise in interest rates in the face of rampant inflation has aggravated the crisis by pushing would-be buyers in New York to rent. — © AFP

With rising interest rates making mortgages unaffordable for many aspiring homeowners, rental demand is expected to rise in 2023. To assess rental data, analysts at money.co.uk have revealed the locations where people in the U.K. will be more commonly renting the most properties in 2023. 

The study sourced government data (via the ONS) to calculate the percentage of privately rented properties, to reveal the U.K. areas with the most and least rental properties.

The areas with the highest percentage of rental properties (outside London) are:

RankLocal authorityRegionHomes that are privately rented (percentage)
1ManchesterNorth West31.36%
2Brighton and HoveSouth East31.11%
3HastingsSouth East29.82%
4OxfordSouth East29.56%
5BlackpoolNorth West28.38%
6ReadingSouth East27.67%
7CambridgeEast of England27.29%
8SloughSouth East26.87%
9SouthamptonSouth East26.53%
10Bristol, City ofSouth West26.49%

Second only to London, Manchester ranks as the top location for renting. In Manchester, 31.36 percent of homes are privately rented. The area has a younger population than the national average and has undergone considerable redevelopment in the last 20 years.

Not far behind Manchester is the city of Brighton and Hove, where around 31 percent of the homes are privately rented. Like Manchester, Brighton is one of the country’s major cities and an attractive spot for young people, with built-up areas generally tending to have a higher number of renters.

Another seaside town, Hastings, comes in just behind Brighton, with just under 3 in 10 homes being privately rented. Hastings is best known for the famous battle that took place nearby but has undergone significant regeneration in the last 20 years.

There remains other areas of the U.K. where private rental rates are lower. This can either be due to local authority rental properties being utilised or there being higher rates of owner-occupied properties.

The areas with the lowest percentage of rental properties in the UK

RankLocal authorityRegionHomes that are privately rented (percentage)
1North East DerbyshireEast Midlands9.69%
2RochfordEast of England10.32%
3South StaffordshireWest Midlands10.57%
4BromsgroveWest Midlands10.69%
5LichfieldWest Midlands11.47%
6SolihullWest Midlands11.49%
7DudleyWest Midlands11.71%
8MaldonEast of England11.74%
9CopelandNorth West11.77%
10Staffordshire MoorlandsWest Midlands11.93%

The area where the fewest people choose to rent their home is North East Derbyshire, at just 9.69 percent. This is the only place in the country where fewer than 10 percent of homes are privately rented. The area has undergone regeneration since the loss of the coal mining industry, with many former mining areas being turned into business parks.

In second place is Rochford, located in Essex, where just over 10 percent of homes are privately rented. Rochford is a popular commuter town for those working in London, with a direct rail connection to Liverpool Street station.

Another Midlands area comes in third place, with just 10.57 percent of homes in South Staffordshirebeing privately rented. Many of the towns and villages in the area are commuter areas for those working in places like Cannock, Stafford and Telford, and Birmingham further afield.

The rental levels are not reflective of affordability. Any area with a relatively low proportion of rentersCopeland in the North West – is the most affordable place to rent, with rent costing 18percent of a monthly salary on average. In contrast, Kensington and Chelsea is the least affordable area to rent in the U.K., costing 67 percent of the average renters income. 

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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