Room rents hit new highs across the UK

UK room rents are up by 16% in Q3, hitting £721 – a new record, according to Spareroom.

Related topics:  Rental market,  Room Rents
Property | Reporter
20th October 2023
To Let 722
"Even areas that have historically been regarded as more ‘affordable’ have seen rents spike in the third quarter of 2023, likely due to renters seeking cheaper housing which in turn is driving up demand with supply not keeping pace"
- Matt Hutchinson - SpareRoom

Rents continue to skyrocket across the UK, reaching unprecedented heights in the third quarter of 2023.

Newly released figures from flatshare site, SpareRoom, have revealed that following a 16% year-on-year rise compared to 2022, average monthly room rents hit £721 during Q3 this year.

Average room rents rose by 10% or more in every UK region, every London region and almost every one of the UK’s largest towns and cities when compared to Q3 2022. The largest regional increases were seen in Northern Ireland (up 19%), followed by the North East (up 17%), Scotland (up 16%) and the North West (also up 16%).

Average monthly room rents in London have soared to £989 – another record high, creeping ever closer to the £1,000 mark. There were increases in every London region and every London postcode, with the biggest rises seen in the North (up 17%), followed by South East, West Central, East and North West regions, all up 16% YOY.

Every London postcode saw an increase in room rents in Q3 2023, with W8 (Holland Park) up 45%, NW7 (Mill Hill) up 38%, and SE28 (Thamesmead), historically one of London’s cheapest areas for renters, seeing a 36% surge in room rents.

This could indicate that renters, forced out of more desirable London areas due to rising rents, are flocking to cheaper postcodes for more affordable housing, driving rents up in these areas as a result.

Rents have increased YOY in all the UK’s 50 largest towns and cities, with Belfast (up 25%), Edinburgh (up 22%) and Warrington (also up 22%) seeing the biggest hikes. For the first time on record, Edinburgh is the most expensive city/town outside of London with average monthly room rents of £896, beating the London suburbs of Kingston upon Thames (£890), Twickenham (£874) and Barnet (£842).

Rental increases in the Scottish city are likely due to increased demand in the run-up to the Edinburgh Fringe festival which takes place every August, as seen by rents spiking in July 2023.

The cheapest areas to rent outside of the capital in Q3 2023 were South Shields (£442), Burnley (£446) and Barnsley (£456).

Matt Hutchinson, SpareRoom director comments: “Rents have reached another record high across the UK. Even areas that have historically been regarded as more ‘affordable’ have seen rents spike in the third quarter of 2023, likely due to renters seeking cheaper housing which in turn is driving up demand with supply not keeping pace.

"If this continues, we could see renters being driven even further from the capital, or perhaps leaving London altogether as the pool of affordable accommodation becomes ever smaller.

"The government needs to take urgent action to tackle the rental crisis head-on before this situation becomes untenable. There needs to be a real commitment to act fast and introduce legislation that eases the burden on renters and stabilises rental prices in the UK.”

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