The cheapest and most expensive areas to rent right now, according to Rightmove UK

Average rental prices are now 15% higher than they were two years ago, just before the pandemic hit, and tenants are facing the most competitive rental market ever recorded.

This rent increase is predominately due to a shortage of rental homes available, but a greater demand of tenants, with many staying put in their current properties and renewing their leases, rather than re-entering the market.

Screen With Envy decided to find out what exactly your rental budget could get you in the UK. They scraped Rightmove UK, analysing over 123 areas and 83,000 listings. From this, they were then able to determine the average rent PCM for a flat, shared property, bungalow and house. Additionally, they looked at the average monthly rent price for a particular type of property across 1 – 4 bedrooms.

Average Rent PCM Nationwide

Nationwide, the average rent PCM currently for a flat is £2,086.56. For a house, the average rent is £2,151.22, for shared property, rent is typically £699.82 and for a bungalow rental, the average is £1,261.38.

Kilmarnock, a large town in East Ayrshire, Scotland, is the cheapest place to rent a flat. In fact, you’ll find it’s 10x lower than renting in South West London. It was also found that, generally, it costs an extra £500 a month to move from a 1-bed to a 2-bed flat. But, in Lincoln, it can actually be cheaper to get a 2-bed flat overall.

It should come as no surprise to learn that renting houses is more expensive than flats nationwide. However, in 3 regions, houses are cheaper:

  • Lincoln (Flat £723.45 vs House £577.81)
  • Plymouth (Flat £646.15 vs House £610.87)
  • Sheffield (Flat £822.16 vs House £636.12)

The Most & Least Expensive Flats

South West London came out on top as the most expensive area to rent a 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom flat. But, interestingly, it falls second to West Central London for a 2-bedroom flat by a huge £544.32 per calendar month.

On the other end of the spectrum, Llandrindod Wells, Wales is the cheapest place to rent a 1 and 2-bedroom flat but doesn’t make the cheapest list for 3-bedroom flats. Instead, Bolton in Greater Manchester is the cheapest, where the average monthly rent is just £386. This is followed by Huddersfield and Lincoln.

Even more shocking, there is an eye-wateringly large £8,018.94 gap in the average monthly rent price between the area paying the most (SW) and least (BL) for a three-bedroom flat.

Although South West London is the most affluent area, with the average household income at £60,761.43, the average rent price across the year is £61,208.76. This means that you would likely have to flat share in order to be able to afford to live in this leafy suburb.

Flat Beds: 1

Ranking Location Average rent price PCM
Most expensive SW £3,206.13
Second most expensive WC £2,890.40
Third most expensive EC £2,878.99
Third cheapest PH £427.86
Second cheapest KA £392.09
Cheapest LD £375

Flat Beds: 2

Ranking Location Average rent price PCM
Most expensive WC £4,766.01
Second most expesnive SW £4,221.67
Third most expensive EC £3,839.90
Third cheapest SR £524.21
Second cheapest KA £479.72
Cheapest LD £473.33

Flat Beds: 3

Ranking Location Average rent price PCM
Most expensive SW £8,404.94
Second most expensive W £8,276.60
Third most expensive WC £6,626.67
Third cheapest LN £426
Second cheapest HD £411.83
Cheapest BL £386

The Most & Least Expensive Shared

When it comes to shared properties, the most expensive area to rent with others is in Lincoln, with an average monthly rent of £2,973.56. Brighton comes in as the second most expensive (£1,816.12) while Bristol is in third place (£1,748.84).

Halifax, on the other hand, is the most affordable place to rent a shared property at just £325 PCM. However, there are currently only 1-bedroom shared properties available in Halifax, so the choice is fairly limited. Stoke-on-Trent was also an extremely affordable place to rent a shared property for £351.93.

With the average household income in Lincoln of £39,097.06 a year and the yearly shared rental average totalling £35,802.72, it’s no wonder why many are turning to flat sharing in order to help lower the costs.

​​Shared Beds: 1

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive E £829.83
Second most expensive NW £827.70
Third most expensive W £811
Third cheapest DL £367
Second cheapest HD £353.87
Cheapest HX £325

Shared Beds: 2

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive BN £1,465.45
Second most expensive CH £1,387
Third most expensive IP £1,365
Third cheapest TS £363.11
Second cheapest ST £350.33
Cheapest HU £303

Shared Beds: 3

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive BN £1,885.92
Second most expensive BA £1,795
Third most expensive NG £1,607.24
Third cheapest HU £325
Second cheapest HD £323.75
Cheapest ST £307.54

The Most & Least Expensive Bungalows

In West London, if you’re wanting to rent a bungalow, you’ll be looking at an astonishing rental average of £30,117.00 per calendar month. It is worth noting, however, that when scraping Right Move, there was a limited number of bungalows available which is why the average price is much higher than any other area. Getting a bungalow in a city like London is rare, so the sample size is low.

Compared to Slough, which is the second most expensive place to rent a bungalow, there is a £26,745.57 price difference and compared to Dumfries and Gallows, the cheapest place to rent a bungalow there is a shocking difference of £29,533.67.

It’s also worth mentioning that the average yearly household income in West London is £58,098.90 – which is not quite enough for 2 months’ rent for a bungalow in this area. To rent a bungalow for 12 months, you’ll be looking at a staggering cost of around £361,404.

Bungalow Beds: 1

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive RH £4,333
Second most expensive N £1,450
Third most expensive SG £1,395
Third cheapest HD £381
Second cheapest CA £327
Cheapest WA £298

Bungalow Beds: 2

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive SE £2,621
Second most expensive SL £1,833.33
Third most expensive HA £1,783.33
Third cheapest TD £595
Second cheapest BB £577.50
Cheapest CA £495

Bungalow Beds: 3

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive W £30,117
Second most expensive RM £3,300
Third most expensive IG £3,000
Third cheapest KA £662.50
Second cheapest IV £625
Cheapest DG £500

The Most & Least Expensive Houses

For rental house prices, while they are less than the £30,117 rental of bungalows, overall, they are more expensive to rent across the nation due to their size and gardens. North West London took the top spot for the most expensive houses to rent with an average monthly cost of £13,924.38, while South West London followed in second place with £11,709.92 per month.

The cheapest place to rent a house is in Lincoln, in the East Midlands, which will set you back £577.81 a month in rent. Or, if you’re looking for a change of pace from the bustling city life, the second cheapest place to rent a house in the UK is Carlisle for a modest £581.16 a month.

House Beds: 1

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive W £2,967.89
Second most expensive SE £2,784.20
Third most expensive SW £2,625.03
Third cheapest TS £422.17
Second cheapest ML £415
Cheapest DD £400

House Beds: 2

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive WC £6,088
Second most expensive EC £4,787.25
Third most expensive NW £4,640.17
Third cheapest KA £518.33
Second cheapest SR £507.07
Cheapest DH £500.80

House Beds: 3

Ranking Location Average rent PCM
Most expensive W £10,050.31
Second most expensive SW £6,943.67
Third most expensive WC £5,925.25
Third cheapest CA £649.62
Second cheapest LN £640.17
Cheapest DL £581.41

Tips for Securing Your Next Rental

With competition high in the rental market, you need to be prepared and ready to act fast to secure your dream home. Here are some of our top tips to help you:

  • First of all, start your search early. Get an idea of the type of property you’d like and what features are a must-have. Since many rental properties have a 2 month notice period, new homes are often available 2 months after they’re first advertised. So, you’ll need to get in quick to secure the property.
  • Build a friendly relationship with your estate agent as it’s in their best interest to find a good and reliable tenant.
  • Keep an open mind when it comes to location. For example, as you’ve seen above, moving from Central London to South West London can make a big difference in price without affecting your daily life or commute to work too drastically.
  • Make sure you act fast and don’t hesitate when you find somewhere you love. With the current rental market, you need to jump as soon as possible to get what you want. You’ll also need to try and make sure you’re available to view any properties at the drop of a hat.
  • Consider signing a longer contract of 2 or more years, if you can. This works out better for the landlord, and so they’ll be more inclined to consider your application over others.
  • Have your paperwork ready to go at all times. We’d even recommend bringing your documents, such as passports, along to your viewings so, if the property is right for you, you can decide to secure the home there and then.

Each property type can be defined as the following:

  • Flat – flat, studio flat, grand maisonette flat, ground flat, maisonette flat, penthouse flat and services flat.
  • Shared – shared apartment and shared property.
  • Bungalow – bungalow, semi-detached bungalow, detached bungalow and terraced house bungalow.
  • House – terraced house, detached house, semi-detached house, house, end of terrace house, link detached house, mews house, townhouse, coach house, cluster house, barn conversion house, cottage house, farmhouse, village house, barn house, manor house and country house.

Conclusion

It should come as no surprise to learn that West and South West London are the most expensive areas to rent a property. Whether it’s a £30,117.00 house or bungalow or a £4,221.67 2-bedroom flat, you’ll be paying to live in some of the most affluent areas in the country. Whereas if you look just a little further out of London, such as Slough, for example, you’ll be getting a much more reasonable rental price that’s still in an excellent location and is perfect for commuting into London.

For those looking for rental properties in Manchester, Bolton will be the best option as you’ll be able to secure a comfortable 3-bedroom flat for as little as £386 a month.