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Renters quitting cities in search of better value

  • 17/03/2023
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Renters quitting cities in search of better value
Nearly half of city renters are considering leaving urban areas due to increased living costs and lack of available homes in their areas.

According to research from Rightmove, 42 per cent of renters are looking to move out of the city and are contacting agents. This is an increase from 37 per cent a year ago and up from 28 per cent in 2020.

London has reported the biggest increase in the proportion of renters looking to move out of the city compared to a year ago, going from 31 per cent in 2022 to 38 per cent now.

This was followed by Sheffield and Manchester which rose five per cent year on year to 52 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.

Sky-high rents and lack of supply fuel exodus

Rapidly increasing rents and decline of available properties were cited as two factors fueling potential departures of renters from cities.

Average asking rents in Great Britain have gone up by around 11 per cent over the past year, and are up 12 per cent across 10 major city centres on average.

Edinburgh reported the largest rise in average asking rents compared to last year at 19 per cent, followed by London at 18 per cent and Manchester at 14 per cent.

Demand in cities to secure a property has also skyrocketed, with competition to secure a home in the city centre more than doubling compared to 2020.

However, competition is starting to ease compared to record levels seen last year, with tenant demand dropping by four per cent in Great Britain and the number of available homes growing by eight per cent.

Renters are considering wider areas, with the average spread of areas nearly doubling since 2020 to 122km².

Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister said: “The latest rental market trends demonstrate how cost pressures and the imbalance between supply and demand are changing the way tenants search for their next home.

“We’re seeing that a greater proportion of prospective buyers are looking for a home in the city they live in, but it’s the opposite trend for renters who may be finding that they’ve been priced out of the city or have decided to move further out to reduce their overall bills.”

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