Cigarettes, cars and uni fees – the only things to outstrip rental growth this Millennium

Rental price growth has outstripped many of life’s day-to-day costs, like bread, eggs and fuel, research from online letting agent Howsy has revealed.

The cost of renting a property in England has increased from an average price of £344 in the year 2000 to £858 in 2019, a 150% increase in just shy of 20 years.

In comparison, the cost of milk has risen by just 29% to 44p per pint over the same time period.

Similarly, eggs per dozen are 42% more expensive, fuel per litre has risen by 59% to £1.27, while McDonald’s Big Macs have risen by 63% to £3.09.

The average price of draught beer per pint has increased by 82% to £3.64.

Bread (per white loaf sliced) has seen a significant price increase of 104% to £1.06, though it’s still less of a hike than with the private rental sector.

Cigarettes and cars outstrip rental growth

While the cost of renting has risen significantly, it’s still been hiked by a lower percentage than cigarettes. A pack of 20 is now 162% more expensive than in 2000, costing £10.23, up from £3.91.

Buying a brand new car is now 163% more pricey, rising from £12,780 in 2000 in £33,559 in 2019.

Trumping all these costs is university tuition fees per year, which thanks to government measures are 825% more expensive than in 2000, rising from £1,000 to £9,250.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented:

“It will come as little surprise that rents have risen at a faster rate than many of life’s other essential outgoing costs since the turn of the Millennium.

“This is largely due to the ever-increasing levels of tenant demand within the sector and a stagnant level of homes to accommodate this demand, which has resulted in a substantial hike in the cost of renting.

As a result, people are now spending a greater proportion of their income on rent when compared to other essentials like food or fuel. If you rent, smoke, went to university and need a car, then you’re really up against it financially.”

Average price 2000
Current average price
Change (2000 to 2019) (%)
Uni tuition fees (upper limit per year)
New Car
Cigarettes (20)
Private Rent per month (England)
Bread (white loaf sliced)
Draught beer per pint
Cinema ticket
McDonald’s Big Mac
Sausages (pork per kg)
Fuel per litre (unleaded petrol)
Cheese cheddar type per kg
Eggs per dozen
Milk (per pint)

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