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Revealed: England’s most affordable rental locations

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Which Cumbrian borough is the cheapest place to rent a home compared to average earnings?
Revealed: England’s most affordable rental locations

Copeland is England’s most affordable place to rent a home, with rent payments accounting for just 10.5% of the area’s annual salary (£49,812) at an average £5,236 a year, according to Paragon Bank.

The Cumbrian borough is followed by Ribble Valley and Staffordshire Moorlands, according to the buy-to-let specialist.

Paragon’s Rental Affordability Index takes recently published Government data, and by overlaying gross annual earnings with the average amount spent on rent, reveals an average rental affordability ratio for local authority areas across England.

The rest of the 10 most affordable places to rent and their rental affordablity ratios were:

  1. Copeland – 10.5%
  2. Ribble Valley – 15.8%
  3. Staffordshire Moorlands – 15.9%
  4. North Lincolnshire – 17.1%
  5. Knowsley – 17.9%
  6. Amber Valley – 18.0%
  7. Northumberland – 18.1%
  8. Ashfield – 18.1%
  9. West Lindsey – 18.4%
  10. Hyndburn – 18.7%

Least affordable

The least affordable local authorities in which to rent a home were all found in London.

In Kensington & Chelsea average annual incomes stood at £34,157 in 2021, while rents totalled £36,520 a year. This results in an affordability ratio of 106.9%, making the area England’s least affordable rental location by a considerable margin.

Westminster was found to be second due to rent costing 81.1% of annual salaries on average while Hammersmith and Fulham made up the top three least affordable rental locations with an affordability ratio of 60.7%.

Big picture

The average rental affordability ratio for the whole of England is 32.1% of the average an annual income of £30,264.

Yorkshire & The Humber is most affordable region to rent overall, followed by the North West and the North East.

London, the South East and East of England were the least affordable.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon Bank managing director of mortgages, said: “Our rental affordability index shows considerable variation in how affordable privately rented homes are. A key influence on this is where properties are located with a general trend for more affordable housing being found in the north of England.

“The lower purchase prices for homes in regions such as Yorkshire and The Humber means that investors can keep rent prices relatively low while still covering their overheads.

“It’s important to acknowledge, however, that there is a limit to this, and the current economic conditions mean that it is becoming more expensive to manage a lettings business. Alongside supply of properties that is exceeded by demand, this is placing pressure on rents.

“The Government and industry must work together to facilitate investment that will boost the number of homes available to rent, giving tenants more choice and helping to regulate rental costs.”


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