Cost of renting a room up 8% in second quarter of 2019

The cost of renting a room across the UK’s major cities increased by 8% in the second quarter of 2019 to £577 per month, the latest figures show.

London is the most expensive at £783, up 5% since the previous quarter and Cambridge and Oxford are also amongst some of the most expensive at £613 and £588 respectively, both seeing some of the largest quarter to quarter increases at 8% to 9%.

Liverpool has also seen prices increase 8% on the previous quarter, although at £473 per month, it remains far more affordable, according to the room rental index from room share platform Ideal Flatmate.

The data also shows that there has been notable growth across Sheffield, Newcastle, Leicester, Birmingham and Nottingham since the first quarter of the year.

However, not everywhere has seen the price of a room increase with both Bournemouth and Portsmouth seeing a double digit decline, down 13% and 10% respectively. And in Glasgow there was a fall of 6% while Southampton, Leeds, Bristol and Plymouth have also seen the cost of renting a room reduce.

In London, Barking and Dagenham remains the most affordable borough for a room rental at £561, with the City of London the least affordable at £1,140. Havering, Sutton, Harrow, Camden and the City of London have seen the smallest growth in rental costs at 2%, while Lewisham and Kingston have seen the average room rental increase by 10%.

‘A large degree of rental price growth in the second quarter of this year is almost certainly attributed to the introduction of the tenant fee ban. While a positive step towards safeguarding tenants, its implementation has seen many landlords and letting agents opt to increase rents from June onwards which seems to have had a notable impact on rental costs in a short period of time,’ said Tom Gatzen, co-founder of Ideal Flatmate.

‘However, this hasn’t been the case everywhere and in the room rental space as opposed to the rental market as a whole, seasonal influences can have a big impact on the advertised price,’ he pointed out.

He explained that the highest demand for room rentals tends to come at the start of the year or the start of the summer and traditionally this brings a lull in demand during the second quarter of the year. ‘As a result, we often see prices drop along with demand and this is generally most prominent in coastal and university towns,’ he added.

He also pointed out that there has been no lack of demand in London as rents continue to increase across the capital with the average cost of a room now some £40 higher on average a month than it was at the start of the year.