A new survey from property website Zoopla shows that the cost of renting a property is becoming more affordable across the UK.
One reason for the increased affordability is pressure easing off the rental sector as a result of the increase in the number of first-time buyers purchasing their own home.
“Renting is more affordable today than the 10-year average. [An increase in] first-time buyers, 80% of whom exit the private renting sector to buy, has also moderated rental demand,” said Zoopla’s Richard Donnell.
“Rental affordability varies widely across the country, reflecting the relative strength of local economies.”
Overall, rental prices in the UK increased by an average of 2% over the last 12 months. This was around half the level of the average wage increase in the same period.
Despite prices becoming more affordable across the country on the whole, some areas did experience steep increases in the cost of renting a home.
Prices rose fastest in Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol – whilst Aberdeen saw the biggest fall in prices.
According to the survey, tenants moving into homes in Nottingham over the summer paid around 5.4% more in rent than 12 months earlier.
Leeds and Bristol both saw prices increases of 4.5%, and along with Nottingham make up the only three cities in the UK where rents rose faster than average wage growth.
In Aberdeen, an area in which the oil industry heavily affects the local economy, rent prices dropped by 4.1% in the third quarter in comparison with the previous year.
Coventry and Middlesborough were also areas in which the cost of renting a property fell.
The rental sector is mainly concentrated in London. A third of the properties for rent in the UK are found in capital – which is also where the average monthly rent is the most expensive.
According to the report, the typical UK tenant spends almost a third (31.8%) of their income on rent. This is slightly less than the peak in 2016.
The highest proportion of earnings spent on rent were seen in Oxford, Brighton, Cambridge, and London. The lowest percentage of earnings spent of rent were seen in Hull, Bradford, and Stoke.
The increased affordability of rent affects mainly people in the 16 to 34 age groups. According to the government’s Family Resources Survey, almost three quarters of 16-24-year-olds and around half of 25 to 34-year-olds are currently renting from a private Landlord.
The process of renting out a property is also taking less time on average. The average time between a listing being posted and removed is 17 days. This is down from 12 months ago when it took 19 days between a listing being posted and removed.
Zoopla based the figures for its inaugural quarterly rental report on listings its website as well as other data the company collected.