UK rental demand high but London struggles

UK rental demand high but London struggles

Thriving rental markets in cities outside of London benefit from soaring rents and stagnant wages in the capital.


  • Changes in housing legislation within the capital could see thousands of residents displaced
  • Young professionals, students, and families are looking elsewhere to improve quality of life
  • York and Manchester among cities that are experiencing thriving rental markets and encouraging investor interest

The government’s extension of the right-to-buy deal and forced sale of council houses will see 21,000 fewer affordable properties in London by 2020.

The right-to-buy deal will be extended to cover housing association properties, paid for by the forced sale of council homes. This means discounted housing association properties, with the difference made up by the sale of the most valuable council properties.

With rents increasing and quality of life diminishing in the capital, many professionals, students and young families are looking towards other prosperous regions to take advantage. Last year YouGov conducted a study that backed this up – 41% of adults employed in London have considered leaving due to the ever-increasing cost of living.

Rafael Behr, Journalist at The Guardian, said of rental payments in the capital: “The amount has increased at rates far outstripping national inflation at a time when wages have stagnated. It is now common for tenants to pay well over half of their income on housing before feeding, clothing and heating themselves.”

The north has reaped the rewards of a dissatisfied London population. Yorkshire remains in the throes of a rental boom, with the number of people choosing to live in private rented accommodation far higher than the national average. Lettings agencies within the region have recorded their busiest period in decades.

Manchester, along with York, is the only northern city to see capital growth surge above pre-recession levels. With a population increasing at three times the national average, a severe shortage of new housing stock has given investors an opportunity to enter a market in its prime.

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