Most Expensive Places to Rent Are

Towns and cities such as Oxford and Brighton have overtaken areas of London as the most unaffordable places in the country to rent, according to the National Housing Federation.

New research shows that Three Rivers in Hertfordshire is now the most unaffordable place outside of the capital to be a private renter – with private rent swallowing up more than half of people’s hard earned wages.

Other places such as Oxford, South Bucks and Brighton are now more unaffordable than London boroughs such as Greenwich and Lewisham, with renters spending over half their salary on rent before they’ve covered any other bills.

This follows official figures showing that private renters now spend twice as much of their income on their housing costs compared to homeowners.

Renters in the South West, East of England and Yorkshire are also struggling, with private rent taking up around 40% of people’s income in Exeter, Epping Forest and Leeds.

The cost of renting from a private landlord is making it increasingly difficult for those trying to save to buy their own home, and for families. A recent YouGov poll for the Federation found that almost a third (31%) of parents in England who rent privately say housing costs prevented them from getting their children into their preferred school and 46% think it’s unlikely their children will be able to afford to live in the area they’ve grown up in.

Research by the National Housing Federation also found that private renters are becoming increasingly dissatisfied, as one in five (21%) in England say housing is an important issue in deciding how they vote in the next general election – compared to just 8% of homeowners.

Not only do private renters face an uphill battle to try and get on the property ladder, they also have less chance of securing an affordable tenancy as not enough investment is going in to building more social housing.

Overall, the shortage of affordable homes, rising house prices and stagnant wages is leaving many people struggling to make their income cover the cost of their rent, as well as other essential bills. The National Housing Federation is warning that unless the shortage of affordable homes is addressed, rents will continue to rise and more people will see more of their wages eaten up by the cost of renting.

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Private renters today are getting a raw deal and are paying the price for a housing crisis that’s been decades in the making.

“Unless we build the affordable homes we desperately need, ordinary working families and young people will continue to struggle to pay their rent, and will have less and less money left to cover basic bills like food and heating.

“We need a long term plan from politicians to put this right. We’re calling on all political parties to commit to end the housing crisis within a generation.”