Forget London, Oxford is the UK’s worst place to rent

The latest data on the cost of renting from the Office for National Statistics was released last week showing that rents in England have increased to their highest level on record.

While the average rent in London is double that of the national average, the latest research by lettings and estate agent Barrows and Forrester has found that London isn’t the least affordable rental market when it comes to rent as a percentage of income.

Based on the latest data, their research shows that the average UK tenant is spending 47% of their monthly net income (£2,039) to cover the average cost of £959 in rent.

At a regional UK level, tenants in London are paying the most, with 62% of the average London salary required to cover the monthly cost of renting. In contrast, tenants in Wales and the South East are paying less than half that (30%).

However, when breaking the UK down on a local level London takes a back seat to Oxford where the issue of rental affordability is concerned.

With a monthly net salary of £1,946 and rental costs coming in at an average of £1,588 per month, tenants in Oxford are spending 82% of their monthly income on renting.

There are a further 17 areas of the UK where the average rent accounts for 60% or more of the average monthly income, with the capital accounting for 14 of these least affordable rental markets.

Hackney is the least affordable of all London boroughs and second least affordable behind Oxford, with 78% of the average income spent on rent.

Outside of London, Exeter (67%) Brighton and Hove (66%) and Epping Forest (60%) also make the list of least affordable rental markets.

Location
Average rent (pm)
Net salary (pm)
Rent as % of net salary
London
£1,644
£2,639
62%
South East
£999
£2,251
44%
South West
£818
£1,866
44%
East of England
£862
£2,124
41%
Scotland
£748
£1,944
38%
West Midlands
£671
£1,894
35%
Northern Ireland
£627
£1,798
35%
East Midlands
£639
£1,884
34%
Yorkshire and the Humber
£614
£1,831
34%
North West
£629
£1,885
33%
North East
£542
£1,799
30%
Wales
£539
£1,792
30%
United Kingdom
£959
£2,039
47%
Least affordable rental markets
Location
Average rent (pm)
Net salary (pm)
Rent as % of net salary
Oxford
£1,588
£1,946
82%
Hackney
£1,842
£2,360
78%
Westminster
£3,046
£4,038
75%
Lambeth
£1,908
£2,565
74%
Newham
£1,453
£2,007
72%
Haringey
£1,669
£2,350
71%
Camden
£2,302
£3,387
68%
Brent
£1,502
£2,217
68%
Exeter
£1,201
£1,801
67%
Barking and Dagenham
£1,208
£1,816
67%
Brighton and Hove
£1,360
£2,054
66%
Hammersmith and Fulham
£2,117
£3,209
66%
Ealing
£1,569
£2,431
65%
Southwark
£1,718
£2,717
63%
Islington
£2,003
£3,195
63%
Enfield
£1,292
£2,114.96
61%
Epping Forest
£1,369
£2,261.61
61%
Barnet
£1,499
£2,498.08
60%
Least affordable rental markets excluding London
Location
Average rent (pm)
Net salary (pm)
Rent as % of net salary
Oxford
£1,588
£1,946
82%
Exeter
£1,201
£1,801
67%
Brighton and Hove
£1,360
£2,054
66%
Epping Forest
£1,369
£2,262
61%
Bath and North East Somerset
£1,223
£2,050
60%
Bristol
£1,175
£1,974
60%
Midlothian
£1,084
£1,887
57%
Cambridge
£1,250
£2,186
57%
East Lothian
£1,084
£1,949
56%
Three Rivers
£1,280
£2,347
55%
Mole Valley
£1,268
£2,327
54%
West Oxfordshire
£1,108
£2,038
54%
Harlow
£1,006
£1,853
54%
Crawley
£1,004
£1,856
54%
Chiltern
£1,455
£2,744
53%

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