Best places to rent in the UK

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Asking rents outside London continue to hold up despite the market having more available properties, with prices rising by 2.8% compared to last quarter, similar to the 2.7 per cent average over the past five years.

Properties marked as available by letting agents on Rightmove are up 7%

seven per cent compared to the second quarter of last year outside London, though new rental properties coming on the market are down two per cent.

It’s a similar picture for stock in the capital, with available stock up 8%, and new listings down five per cent, not surprising when comparing to the boost from last minute buy-to-let purchases in Q2 of last year.  Though rental prices in London are still running lower than last year and are now 3.2% lower than their peak of £2,020 per month this time last year. 

Rightmove’s Head of Lettings Sam Mitchell comments: “Many thought that rental supply would constrict this year, as landlords sold up and looked to invest their money elsewhere, but clearly this isn’t happening yet.  Perhaps landlords are remortgaging their buy-to-let properties instead, as they still feel it’s a better investment than looking to other industries.  It could spell good news for tenants coming to the end of their lease as they might find there is slightly more choice than last year. Anyone hoping for a drop in prices due to the extra choice will be disappointed though as rents are following a very similar trend to previous years.

“In London there was disproportionate buying activity ahead of the 3% increase in stamp duty last year and that increase in supply has weighed on asking rents in the capital. Agents and landlords should make sure that they are ahead of the curve in pricing to make sure that they react quickly in a very competitive market.”

 Rightmove has found the top locations in each region that currently offer the best choice for renters. The top spot in the South East is Ascot in Berkshire, where the average asking rent for a two bed is £1,417 per month. In the North West it’s Salford where a two bed would set you back £842 per month. The cheapest region is the North East, with Newcastle the location with the best choice for rental properties, at an average of £642 per month.  The findings are based on the areas with the highest number of available rental properties, as a proportion of total housing stock in the areas. 

Best choice for renters by region:

Top locationsRegion/country

Avg. asking rent

per month (2 bed) 

Q2 2017

AscotSouth East£1,417
BathSouth West£1,152
SalfordNorth West£842
NewcastleNorth East£642
LeedsYorks & Humber£710
CambridgeEast of England£1,209
DerbyEast Midlands£551
BirminghamWest Midlands£760
CardiffWales£750
AberdeenScotland£708
KilburnLondon£1,920

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