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How does population impact rental prices? The best sized cities for tenant affordability.

Research by leading room share platform, ideal flatmate, has looked at the impact population size has on rental prices in major cities and towns across England and Wales.

Using government data on private rents and population figures, ideal flatmate looked at the average rental price across cities within certain population brackets, starting at 50,000 to 100,000 people and climbing.

The highest average rental cost is found in the nation’s most major cities with a population above 500,000 people which is perhaps to be expected as these cities traditional attract the greatest level of tenant demand while house prices see many priced out of buying. Bradford, Birmingham, London, Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester are home to an average rental cost of £865 with rents ranging between £530 and £1,727, the highest of all population brackets.

But it isn’t as straight forward as the larger the population the higher the rental price. In fact, towns and cities with smaller population sizes are actually home to some of the next highest average rents.

The smallest towns and cities where the population sits between 50,000 to 100,000 are home to an average rental cost of £732, climbing to £807 in towns and cities with a population of between 100,000 and 150,000, and increasing further still to £830 per month for a population between 150,000 and 200,000.

However, at this point the average cost of renting drops notable with towns with a population of between 200,000 and 250,000 home to an average rent of just £688. The average rent then drops again to £670 for towns and cities with a population between 250,000 to 300,000.

But even better value for tenants are towns and cities with a population between 300,000 and 500,000, with the average rental cost at just £628 per month, with the highest average rent marginally over £1,000 and the lowest just below £500. This means that cities such as Liverpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry and Nottingham offer some of the best value for tenants without sacrificing the city life that many leave home in search for.

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

“For many, moving away from home to a major city can be their first experience of the rental sector and all too often it can be a negative one due to the high costs of living.

While population size can be a driving factor behind demand for rental properties the data shows that more people doesn’t necessarily mean higher rents.

Although a supply-demand imbalance can push rents up, it would seem that there is a sweet spot where rental costs remain pretty tenant friendly without the need to ditch the big city lifestyle.”

Population categories – by average rental prices
Population Bracket
Average Population
Average Monthly Rent
Highest Monthly Rent
Lowest Monthly Rent
50,000 to 100,000
83,807
£732
£1,288
£458
100,000 to 150,000
124,200
£807
£1,413
£457
150,000 to 200,000
173,389
£830
£1,366
£533
200,000 to 250,000
221,233
£688
£1,034
£486
250,000 to 300,000
269,973
£670
£1,302
£427
300,000 to 500,000
364,520
£628
£1,070
£471
500,000 +
2,075,467
£865
£1,727
£530
City population and average renal price by population category
Population Bracket
Cities and Towns
Population Estimates (thousands)
Average Rent (per month)
 
500k
London
8869.1
£1,727
Birmingham
1137.8
£715
Leeds
786.2
£760
Sheffield
578.1
£618
Manchester
547.7
£839
Bradford
533.9
£530
300k-500k
Liverpool
491.6
£499
Bristol, city of
461.2
£1,070
Cardiff
362.8
£733
Coventry
359.9
£637
Leicester
353.1
£600
Wakefield
338.9
£546
Nottingham
327.2
£647
Wigan
324.4
£509
Dudley
318.2
£571
Doncaster
307.9
£471
250k-300k
Newcastle upon Tyne
295.6
£717
Stockport
291.0
£727
Brighton and Hove
289.6
£1,302
Bolton
284.7
£583
Walsall
280.5
£564
Sunderland
277.5
£528
Milton Keynes
269.1
£976
Plymouth
263.3
£569
Rotherham
262.9
£507
Kingston upon Hull, city of
260.6
£427
Wolverhampton
259.5
£555
Derby
257.6
£578
Stoke-on-Trent
254.6
£481
Southampton
252.4
£793
Salford
250.7
£747
200k-250k
Swansea
246.5
£552
Barnsley
243.7
£486
Oldham
233.7
£562
Northampton
226.6
£718
Swindon
220.1
£698
Luton
218.0
£816
Rochdale
217.2
£515
Portsmouth
214.6
£812
Solihull
213.1
£898
Warrington
210.0
£633
York
208.2
£1,034
Gateshead
203.1
£536
150k-200k
Peterborough
198.7
£649
Stockton-on-Tees
196.8
£559
Bournemouth
195.4
£848
Colchester
190.2
£813
Bury
189.0
£624
Basildon
185.4
£985
Southend-on-Sea
181.8
£830
St. Helens
179.0
£533
Chelmsford
175.3
£968
Telford
174.9
£593
Bedford
170.8
£802
Maidstone
167.4
£867
Wokingham
164.5
£1,220
Canterbury
164.1
£873
Reading
164.1
£1,010
Harrogate
160.5
£847
Oxford
155.3
£1,366
Braintree
151.9
£814
Newport
151.5
£539
Poole
151.2
£872
100k-150k
Huddersfield
149.0
£540
Slough
148.8
£994
Guildford
148.2
£1,413
St Albans
147.8
£1,310
Blackburn
146.5
£492
Lancaster
142.1
£585
Thanet
142.0
£685
Norwich
141.1
£787
Preston
141.0
£547
Middlesbrough
140.6
£457
Warwick
139.8
£834
Blackpool
139.5
£521
Horsham
139.5
£1,052
Ipswich
139.3
£643
Stafford
134.1
£618
Eastleigh
130.2
£856
Gloucester
129.6
£661
Exeter
129.0
£976
Newcastle-under-Lyme
128.8
£581
High Wycombe
125.3
£1,093
Cambridge
124.5
£1,225
Havant
124.4
£846
Winchester
124.1
£1,165
Chichester
120.1
£966
Sevenoaks
119.6
£1,386
Bracknell
119.4
£1,021
Stroud
118.2
£739
Cheltenham
117.6
£808
Fareham
116.4
£891
Chorley
115.4
£582
Dover
115.1
£673
Basingstoke
113.8
£933
Crawley
112.2
£990
Worthing
110.0
£807
Carlisle
108.5
£478
Mansfield
108.4
£502
Scarborough
108.1
£516
Darlington
106.3
£484
Rugby
106.0
£706
Chesterfield
104.6
£533
Eastbourne
103.7
£772
Lichfield
103.0
£727
Worcester
102.5
£633
Lewes
102.4
£1,004
Woking
101.6
£1,289
50k-100k
Kettering
99.8
£664
Great Yarmouth
99.2
£557
Lincoln
97.7
£569
Watford
97.6
£1,059
Bromsgrove
97.3
£739
Bath
95.0
£1,288
Hastings
93.4
£648
Hartlepool
92.9
£470
Tewkesbury
89.6
£744
Stevenage
87.8
£882
Burnley
87.5
£458
Selby
87.5
£608
Harlow
86.5
£934
Rochford
86.1
£965
Gosport
85.8
£745
Redditch
85.1
£674
Scunthorpe
82.5
£475
Daventry
81.5
£809
Wellingborough
78.9
£704
Bolsover
78.6
£484
Brentwood
77.2
£1,139
Tamworth
76.9
£660
Corby
69.5
£560
Boston
68.1
£609
Barrow-in-Furness
67.2
£522
Maldon
63.7
£864
Christchurch
50.0
£924
Sources
 
Population data for cities and towns
 
Cities and Towns information
 
Private Rent
 

 

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