In Brief

The UK’s ten cheapest towns to rent a home

Homeless charity Shelter says tenants are increasingly struggling to find affordable properties

High house prices and rents are driving young people out of London in search of cheaper places to live - but where should they go?

Just one in five millennials owns a home in the capital by the time they are 30, down from 46% among their parents’ generation, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank.

With no hope of buying their own property, young people have to rent, but payments to landlords take up ever greater chunks of their monthly income. 

According to Shelter, rent payments should account for no more than around 35% of a person’s monthly income post-tax in order to be classified as “affordable”. Yet the average amount shelled out by private renters shell is now 47% of their net income.

“It’s fairly obvious that that most private renters have deeply unaffordable housing costs, no matter what their individual circumstances are,” says the housing charity.

So where can you go for cheaper rent?

Apartment agent SilverDoor used data from property website Zoopla to calculate the cheapest places to live in the UK.

Claiming the top spot is the Lancashire town of Burnley, with average monthly rent payments of just £413, followed by the nearby town of Wigan.

Notably, nine of the ten of the cheapest towns are in the north of England, with the one outlier, Stoke-on-Trent, in the West Midlands. No towns in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland make an appearance.

At the other end of the scale, nine of the ten most expensive towns in the UK are in the south of England, according to SilverDoor. Edinburgh is the only non-English town in either list, coming in as the third-most expensive with an average rent of £1,757 per month.

Oxford is the second priciest, while London, predictably, takes first place. In the capital, the average monthly rent is £2,768. To hit Shelter’s “affordable” mark, a single tenant would need to net £7,909 per month - or almost £95,000 post-tax per year.

Here are the ten cheapest towns and their average rent prices:

  1. Burnley - £413
  2. Wigan - £446
  3. Bradford - £456
  4. Blackburn - £484
  5. Barnsley - £484
  6. Hull - £484
  7. Blackpool - £487
  8. Birkenhead - £490
  9. Doncaster - £493
  10. Stoke-on-Trent - £502

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