The UK regions spending the least on rent, data reveals

by | Mar 26, 2023

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As the cost of living crisis surges, renters are facing the possibility of increased rental costs. But with rent costs differing considerably across the UK, which areas are the most affordable for renters?  

In light of this, Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance experts used official government statistics* to investigate which UK regions are spending the least on rent by calculating the proportion (%) of income spent on rent across regions.

This is part of a wider study, which can be found at: https://www.alanboswell.com/news/the-average-cost-of-renting-a-house-in-the-uk/ 

The % of income spent on rent across UK regions:

 
 
RankRegionMedian weekly income (£)Median weekly rent (£)% of income that goes to rent
1North East490.60115.3823.5%
2Wales446.20121.1527.2%
3Yorkshire and the Humber499.40138.4627.7%
4North West504.50140.7727.9%
5East Midlands505.10150.0029.7%
6West Midlands516.20155.7730.2%
7Scotland528.60169.8532.1%
8South West507.40183.4636.2%
9East549.10201.9236.8%
10South East568.80229.6240.4%
11London645.80346.1553.6%

Please find the full data breakdown of all regions and local authorities analysed within this data sheet, alongside a graphic here

Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance experts can reveal that residents from the North East are spending the leastof their wages on rent, amounting to only 23.5%. This is 8.6% less than its neighbouring Scottish residents (32.1%) and 4% less than the North West at 27.9%.

Wales places second best, with 27.2% of resident’s income being spent on rent. Whilst its bordering region, theWest Midlands, are spending more (30.2%).

 

Renters in Yorkshire and the Humber region are spending the third leaston rent (27.7%), enabling their income to go much further in comparison to their neighbours in East Midlands(29.7%). 

Whilst the renting crisis is UK-wide, Londonresidents are spending the largest proportion of their weekly income on rent at a startling 53.6% – exceeding more than half of their wage on average.

% of income spent on rent by country:

 
 
RankCountryMedian weekly income (£)Median weekly rent (£)% of income that goes to rent
1Wales446.20121.1527.2%
2Scotland          528.60169.8532.1%
3England536.60183.0034.1%

Welsh residents are spending 27.2% of their income on rentthe lowest proportionoverall, whilst renters in Englandare spending the most on average (34.1%).

Heath Alexander-Bew, director of personal lines at Alan Boswell Landlord Building Insurance experts, provided a few tips to help ease the rising cost of living:

  1. Apply a money-saving method that fits your situation – Through shows like ‘The Martin Lewis Money Show’, viewers can learn useful money-saving methods like topping up and maxing out on energy meters before March 31st, ahead of the April price hike (if you are responsible for these, to help reduce the cost of your energy bill until you need to top up again). If you are struggling to pay, you can also speak to your energy firm who may offer hardship funds for existing customers.
  2. Check if you qualify for a tax-credit claim  For those with lower income, you may be eligible to apply for a working tax-credit (Universal Credit), which enables you to receive extra cash to help with daily expenses. The government’s cost of living support page provides more advice on your specific needs, including the tax-credit claims and housing cost support.
  3. Other cost of living services are readily available for the public such as food banks to help individuals and families alike struggling with the current cost of living.

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