Klein Hamilton News

The most expensive rents in England revealed

Written By - Sam Haynes - August 11,2016

People spend more than a third of their disposable income on rent across large parts of England, a BBC investigation has found.

Analysis shows the average rent of a one-bedroom property in almost half of all districts, boroughs and cities would cost more than 30% of the median take-home salary for the area.

The problem is most acute in London and the South East.

The government said it was committed to building more affordable homes.

BBC England's data unit analysed the average rents for different types of property in each local authority area and the median weekly wage for those areas, using figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

According to Shelter and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, spending more than a third of your disposable income on rent or a mortgage means you may not be able to afford other basic needs.


How affordable is rent in your area?

Based on average rents and median weekly wages:

  • Renting a studio flat exceeds 30% of take-home pay in every London borough except Bexley. The cost of a studio exceeds £1,000 a month in Camden, Hackney, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster
  • Renting a room in a house or flat would swallow up more than 30% of the average disposable income in 15 of London's 32 boroughs
  • It is impossible to rent a one, two or three bed property within the recommended limits across the whole of the capital. In 24 London boroughs and the City of London, a one-bedroom property would consume more than half your disposable income
  • The average cost of renting a room in a flat or a house in London is £607 a month, compared to £424 across the South East
  • Renting a one-bedroom property in the South East would be impossible within recommended limits everywhere except Medway, Hastings, Rother, Gosport, Dover, Shepway, Thanet and the Isle of Wight
Dan Wilson Craw, a policy manager at Generation Rent, which campaigns for affordable housing, said: "Across London and the South East, the only option for average earners is to squeeze themselves into ever more crowded flat shares.

"This might work for some, but it's a completely unsustainable situation for anyone who wants to settle down. Unless rents start coming down, the capital and its hinterland will start losing workers and that will weaken the national economy."

North-South divide

Figures show that 142 out of 324 areas where the average rent for a one-bedroom property was higher than 30% of take-home wage. None were in the north of the country, except for Manchester, Salford and York.


  • Renting a room in a house across the North West and North East falls within 30% of take-home pay everywhere except Halton in Cheshire (£520). The cheapest place to rent a room was Hyndburn in Lancashire (£271). In Chorlton in Greater Manchester, a small one bedroom apartment has gone on the market for £395 a month
  • Renting a one-bedroom property across the North falls within recommended limits everywhere except Salford, Trafford and Manchester city centre
  • Someone earning the average wage in Copeland on the north-west coast would effectively have the most left over between their take-home pay and the recommended 30% limit on renting a one-bedroom home
  • However, the rental cost of a one-bedroom property exceeds 30% of disposable income in Nottingham, Northampton, Warwickshire, Stratford upon Avon, Redditch, Warwick and Birmingham


The median monthly take home pay in England is about £1,833, after tax and national insurance contributions.
That means rent should take up no more than £550. The England average price of a room in a house is £382, while a one-bedroom property costs £694.


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