Plymouth is UK’s most affordable city

Just 27% of the average renter’s income pays the monthly rent in Plymouth.

The second and third most affordable cities are Cardiff and Leeds with an income to monthly rent ratio of 29% and 34% respectively.

On the flipside London is the most unaffordable city, as monthly rents command 49% of the average tenant’s income.

And Edinburgh and Birmingham follow close behind with tenants paying out 47% of income towards monthly rent payments.

Martin Totty, Barbon Insurance Group’s chief executive, said: “Our analysis of the affordability of renting in the UK’s major cities has produced some surprising results.

“In some parts of the UK, such as Scotland and East Anglia, where rental prices are now falling or stagnant, the data tells us that renting in some cities in these regions is still stretching tenant affordability.

“The data has also revealed some unexpected pockets of rental affordability where tenant income is keeping greater pace with rental prices.

“Looking at the city data against the regional and national picture would suggest that areas that were previously very much the domain of home buyers are becoming popular areas for renters too, as families move out of cities for a better quality of life but are unable to join the property market.”

Average monthly private rents stood at £708 for the whole of the UK except London in October, down 2.7% from September’s total of £728.

Seven in 12 UK regions saw rent falls in October including Greater London (3.8%), East Anglia (5.4%) the South East (3.1%) and the South West (9.3%) of England.

Areas where rents rose were the North East (3.8%), East Midlands (3.4%), North West (1.7%), West Midlands (0.6%), Yorkshire and Humberside (0.2%).

Totty added: “The divide between areas that previously registered fast-growing rents and those where increases were more modest suggests that the market may be levelling out geographically.

“All around the UK, landlords continue to make sensible decisions about the ability of tenants to pay rents.”

“The recent easing in the rental sector mirrors to some extent the autumn cooling of the house purchase market, where house price increases have begun to ease in recent months.

“However, with house prices having previously increased sharply in most parts of the country and little sign of an improvement in credit conditions, the rentals market looks set to continue benefiting from demand from large numbers of people priced out of buying.

“Rents may not continue to grow at the pace seen over the past year, but the outlook remains attractive for landlords.”