House rentals: The top five most expensive UK cities to rent as demand surges

Property prices are around 'nine times the earnings' says expert

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Rental prices surged at the end of 2021, resulting in “the fastest growth in rents in Q4 than at any time over the last 13 years”, according to Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla. The revelation comes as part of Zoopla’s latest UK Rental Market Report, which has tracked how much the average rental is costing Britons across the UK.

Average UK rents rose 3.7 percent in Q4 2021, taking the annual rate of

rental growth across the UK to 8.3 percent.

However, landlords in some cities are still cashing in substantially more than in others.

Which are the top five most expensive UK cities to rent in?

According to the report: “London leads the way in terms of rental growth, with a 10.3 percent annual rise.

“Even so, given the falls in London rents during the pandemic, rents in London are only modestly above where they were at the start of the pandemic.

“In March 2020, the average London rent was £1,622, and in December 2021, it had risen to £1,640.”

Rents in every other region and country in the UK have also risen, ranging from 4.8 percent in Scotland to 10.2 percent in Northern Ireland.

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Based on data collected from December 2021, the regions with the highest average rents are as follows:

  1. London £1,640
  2. Bristol £1,119
  3. Edinburgh £974
  4. Southampton £908
  5. Cardiff £872

Based on regional data, the most expensive places to rent are as follows:

  1. London £1,640
  2. South East £1,089
  3. East of England £963
  4. South West £897
  5. West Midlands £728

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Rental demand has gathered momentum in city centres over the last six months as the pandemic started to ease.

As Covid restrictions die down and people return to working, studying and travelling, there has been strong growth in these areas.

At the same time, supply in the rental market remains tight.

According to Zoopla: “The current rise in rents for new tenancies may also persuade more renters to stay put in their current property and agree terms with their current landlord, again reducing supply in the market. “

However, there may be good news ahead for renters.

Zoopla’s experts predict rental growth will “begin to slow” throughout 2022, with “4.5 percent rental growth across the UK excluding London, and 3.5 percent in London.”

The report adds: “As the demand peak falls back in coming months, less pressure on rental supply will create more competition in the market, and

put the brakes on the scale of rental growth.”

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