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  • HMO & Multi-Lets

    Rental indices suggest room rents on the rise

    Two rental indices have been released today by IdealFlatmate and SpareRoom and both suggest that room rents are on the rise.

    Ideal Flatmate’s Room Rental Index – Leeds is leading room rental growth, but London remains the most unaffordable

    Leading flat sharing platform, ideal flatmate, has released its Room Rental Index for Q1 looking at the cost of renting a room across the UK’s major cities.

    ideal flatmate analysed the cost of thousands of spare rooms listed on its platform looking at the differing cost of renting across each major UK city, each borough of the capital, and how this has changed.

    The latest index shows that the average UK room rental cost is currently £535 per month, up 11% since Q1 of last year.

    The current most expensive location when renting is the capital, with the average room in London costing £745 per month. Glasgow ranked second with a cost of £588, along with Bournemouth (£575), Cambridge (£562) and Leeds (£548).

    While only ranking as the fifth most expensive, Leeds tops the table for both quarterly and yearly growth, with room rental costs up 32% and 50% respectively.

    London ranks second for the largest quarterly and annual growth, with rental prices in Portsmouth and Glasgow up 24% since the last quarter, the third largest increase. Liverpool has seen the third largest annual increase at 35%.

    Looking at the capital, the largest room rental cost is found in the City of London at £1,167. Prime London is also predictably home to some of the highest rental costs with Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Camden and Hammersmith and Fulham home to some of the highest room rents.

    The cheapest is in Havering with an average room rental cost of just £565, joined by Bexley, Enfield, Sutton and Kingston as some of the most affordable spots in the capital to rent a single room.

    Co-founder of ideal flatmate, Tom Gatzen, commented: 

    “A new year but a similar story where the UK rental market is concerned with the cost of renting continuing to climb as a result of the imbalance between high demand and insufficient stock levels.

    This trend is almost certain to persist over the coming year and the impending tenant fee ban could see this growth spike further as rental cost are used to recoup lost revenue.

    London remains the most expensive city in the UK driven largely by the high-end market, However, even the most affordable London borough is more expensive than the majority of alternative UK cities which demonstrates the tough task facing tenants in the city.

    Outside of London, we’re seeing strong regional growth in areas such as Leeds, Portsmouth, Liverpool and Glasgow and while they remain much more affordable, it demonstrates the diversity of the UK rental market and the growing pockets of popularity that stretch across it.”

    Meanwhile, SpareRoom reveals average UK rents have increased by 3% since 2018

    • The cost of renting a room in the UK has increased by £15 per month since the same period last year – up from £567 in 2018 to £582 in 2019 
    • South Shields is ranked as the UK’s cheapest town averaging £300 per calendar month (pcm)
    • London continues to be the UK’s most expensive city (£757), with a rent rise of £32 per month (4%) compared to this time last year
    • Of the UK’s 50 largest towns & cities, Oxford is the second most expensive, with average rents of £572 a month

    SpareRoom’s Q1 2019 Rental Index - a comprehensive overview and annual comparison of how the rental market is performing across the country - reveals that the average cost of renting a room in the UK has increased by £15 pcm (3%) since this time last year, bringing the average monthly rent up to £582 across the UK.

    House prices may be falling but rents are on the up in all regions of the UK. London, Northern Ireland and West Midlands have seen the largest jump, with rents up 4%. Despite its proximity to the capital, the south east has witnessed the lowest growth (just 2%), followed by the south west at 3%.

    A closer look at the UK’s 50 largest towns & cities reveals that the highest surge in rental costs are in the north of England, with Lancashire’s Preston taking first place. Rents in the city have increased by 8% (£30) since last year, bringing the average rent to £378 pcm. York and Stockport follow with increases of 7% each.

    At the other end of the scale, Southend-On-Sea, Aberdeen, and West Bromwich sit at the bottom of the table with decreases of -5%, -3%, and -3%, respectively.

    Oxford follows London as the UK’s second most expensive city, with average monthly rents of £572 – a modest 1% rise since last year. The university towns of Reading and Edinburgh place third and fourth, with average rents of £530 and £519 each. Conversely, the cheapest rents can be found in Belfast (£312), Sunderland (£319) and Middlesbrough (£327).

    In London, contrast to the traditional north-south divide, an east-west divide is now visible with many of capital’s cheapest rents located east and south-east, whilst the more expensive ones are found in the west and south-west.

    Unsurprisingly, central St Pauls (EC4) is the most expensive location to rent in (£1,336), despite costs decreasing by -7% over the past year. This is closely followed by South Kensington / Knightsbridge (SW7) (£1,177) and the Stand / Holborn (WC2) (£1,157).

    However, there’s still hope for those wanting to rent in London on a tighter budget, with 17 areas in the city available for under £600, including Abbey Wood which offers the cheapest average rent (£531), Manor Park (£541) and Chingford (£542).

    Matt Hutchinson, Communications Director for SpareRoom says:

    House prices may have stalled but rents are on the up again. The ongoing Brexit mayhem might be putting people off buying or selling but renters still need to move. With that in mind It’s no surprise London continues to show solid growth, but if this 4% rise is a reflection of what’s to come, we’ll see renters hit their affordability ceiling and be forced further out the capital, especially as Crossrail, when it’s finally complete, likely to drive rents up in the east and south east of London.”

    The table below shows how room rents have risen across the UK and in London over the past year: 

    This table shows the most expensive post towns to rent a room in the UK (outside of London), based on rents in Q1 2019:

     This table shows the least expensive post towns to rent a room in the UK, based on rents in Q1 2019:

    Are rents on the rise where you invest?

    SEE ALSO  -         1st evidence that Tenant Fee Ban = rent rise?

    UP NEXT -              What is your rent increase strategy?

    DON'T MISS -         Rents rise as Landlords exit the sector



    thanks Vanessa.  can you give links please to these research documents?


    I can see rents rising slightly in London in the bottom tier of the single let market.

    However there are soooooo many rooms to let in London, there is obviously an over saturation and I think s lot of them are vacant, that will have a negative impact to prices.


    On the other hand, further afield the cost of renting a whole property for many has become totally unaffordable for many single people.In my area there is a definite rise in the availability of long term “serviced accomodation” , usually 3/4 bed semis with an integral garage, in reasonable areas. They are converted and fully furnished  to provide 5/6 lettable rooms. Here the going rate is 90/100 a week all inclusive.

    This will only add to the angst of generation rent and pile on the pressure in respect to housing policy.


    Thank you for sharing Vanessa, really enjoyable read and good insights in regard to room rent.

    Also love Philip Moore’s co living property and ethics for he’s tenants.


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