New data looking specifically at room rental rates suggest that across the UK rents rose by an average three per cent over the past 12 months.
London, Northern Ireland and West Midlands have seen the largest jump, with rents up four per cent. Despite its proximity to the capital, the south east has witnessed the lowest growth - just two per cent - followed by the south west at three per cent.
The single largest surge in room rental costs are in the north of England, with Lancashire’s Preston increasing eight per cent since last year, bringing the average rent to £378 pcm. York and Stockport follow with increases of 7% each.
At the other end of the scale, Southend-On-Sea, Aberdeen, and West Bromwich sit at the bottom of the table with decreases of three to five per cent.
Oxford follows London as the UK’s second most expensive city, with average monthly rents of £572 – a modest one per cent rise since last year. The university towns of Reading and Edinburgh place third and fourth.
In London, contrast to the traditional north-south divide, an east-west divide is now visible with many of capital’s cheapest rents located east and south-east, whilst the more expensive ones are found in the west and south-west.
Unsurprisingly, EC4 is the most expensive location to rent at £1,336 per room pcm; this is closely followed by SW7 on £1,177 and WC2 at £1,157.
However, there’s still hope for those wanting to rent in London on a tighter budget, with 17 areas in the city available for under £600, including Abbey Wood which offers the cheapest average rent (£531), Manor Park (£541) and Chingford (£542).
“The ongoing Brexit mayhem might be putting people off buying or selling but renters still need to move. With that in mind It’s no surprise London continues to show solid growth, but if this four per cent rise is a reflection of what’s to come, we’ll see renters hit their affordability ceiling and be forced further out the capital” claims Matt Hutchinson, communications director for SpareRoom.