Tenants are leaving expensive city centres and moving further out, new research reveals.
They are making the move in a bid to find a cheaper place to live or to get more for their money, as the average UK asking rent has risen 11 per cent in the last year.
The findings by Rightmove revealed that 42 per cent of tenants are now looking to move out of the city they currently live in. The remaining 58 per cent are looking to stay put.
It is up from 37 per cent who were looking to leave last year and up from 28 per cent pre-pandemic in February 2020.
Tenants are leaving expensive city centres and moving further out, according to Rightmove
|City||Proportion of tenants looking to leave the city February 2023||Proportion of tenants looking to leave the city February 2022||Proportion of tenants looking to leave the city February 2020|
London has seen the biggest increase in the proportion of renters looking outside the city compared with a year ago, followed by Sheffield and Manchester.
Rightmove attributed the increase to rents rising at a record pace in the past few years, and a decline in the number of available properties to move to.
Average asking rents across Britain are up 11 per cent compared with this time last year, and up 12 per cent across ten major city centres on average.
Edinburgh City Centre has seen the largest increase in average asking rents compared with last year, up 19 per cent, followed by Inner London, up 18 per cent, and Manchester city centre, up 14 per cent.
Rightmove explained that demand from tenants to secure a rental property has rapidly increased.
Competition to secure a home to rent in a city centre has more than doubled compared to three years ago, and is up 125 per cent.
However, some good news for tenants is that competition between them is easing – although only slightly compared with the record levels of last year.
Tenant demand for each available rental home across Britain has dropped by 4 per cent compared with last year, and the number of available homes to rent has increased by 8 per cent
Costing more: Average asking rents across Britain are up 11% compared with this time last year, it has been revealed
|City centre||Average asking rent per calendar month||Average asking rent growth compared with February 2022|
|Birmingham City Centre||£1,116||11%|
|Bristol City Centre||£1,452||13%|
|Edinburgh City Centre||£1,511||19%|
|Glasgow City Centre||£1,181||7%|
|Leeds City Centre||£1,067||13%|
|Liverpool City Centre||£948||2%|
|Manchester City Centre||£1,409||14%|
|Nottingham City Centre||£1,114||10%|
|Sheffield City Centre||£888||9%|
Renters are also looking at properties across a larger area than they did before the pandemic. The average spread of areas a renter considers when moving has nearly doubled, up 87 per cent since February 2020 to 122km square, as renters cast their net wider to find a home.
Rightmove went on to suggest that the impact of financial uncertainty and the rising cost of living is reflected in the way renters are looking for their next home.
A total of 35 per cent of tenants end their search with a property that is cheaper than the first one they contacted an agent about, up from 31 per cent three years ago.
However, for those who can afford it, Rightmove also claimed that more tenants are also ending their search with a more expensive property than the first one they contacted an agent about, up from 34 per cent three years ago to 42 per cent today.
Tenants are looking in a wider spread of areas than they did before the pandemic
Tim Bannister of Rightmove, said: ‘The latest rental market trends demonstrate how cost pressures and the imbalance between supply and demand are changing the way tenants search for their next home.
‘We’re seeing that a greater proportion of prospective buyers are looking for a home in the city they live in, but it’s the opposite trend for renters who may be finding that they’ve been priced out of the city or have decided to move further out to reduce their overall bills.
Tenants are now looking to just let what they can afford, rather than holding out for a property in the right location
‘Some good news for renters is that some competition with other tenants and pressure on available homes to rent seems to be easing. However with the pace of the lettings market still strong, it is likely to be a challenging experience for many looking to secure a home that suits their needs and budget.’
Sarah Bush, of lettings agents Cheffins said: ‘Availability in city centres is low, and these locations always command premiums. However as rental levels continue to rise, we are seeing that tenants are now looking to just let what they can afford, rather than holding out for a property in the right location.
‘In busy areas like Cambridge, the lack of available properties has forced up prices and this is coupled with demand from job movers or those who are only coming to the city for a short amount of time for employment reasons.
‘These are the tenants who are now having to compromise with a village or rural location. Similarly, families who need to rent properties with three or four bedrooms often have to turn to village properties to simply get the space they need at an affordable level.’