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Article > Top Regions to Rent in the UK

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In 74% of cases in Britain, it works out cheaper to buy property than to rent on a long-term basis. Statistics indicate that buying remains the better option and is cheaper than renting in around three quarters of the locations studied, with average monthly mortgage repayments 8% lower than the cost of renting. However, this trend is largely dependent on location, and there remain a number of regions where renting is more economical.

Here are the best and worst places for tenants to search for a new home.

Tenant Havens

1. Huddersfield
2. Oldham
3. Brighton
4. Swansea
5. Edinburgh
6. Bournemouth
7. Bristol
8. Cardiff
9. Plymouth
10. Stockport

At the top of the list of places where renting is a superior option to buying is Huddersfield. In Huddersfield, the average two bedroom property costs just £484 per month to rent. To purchase the same property, you would be looking at spending £99,778. Renting is also a more cost-effective option in locations such as Oldham, Brighton, Swansea and Edinburgh, which complete the top five rental hotspots.

Tenant Hells

1. Dundee
2. Birmingham
3. Derby
4. Cambridge
5. Milton Keynes
6. Walsall
7. Nottingham
8. York
9. Peterborough
10. Norwich

Conversely, Dundee is the most economical place to look for a home for those wanting to purchase a property, with average asking prices £99,320 for a two-bedroom home, versus £531 per month in rent. Other locations ideal for those looking to buy are Birmingham, Derby, Cambridge and Milton Keynes.

Changing Trends

London, however, the locale with the highest rents in the country, has traditionally been a location where buying is a more cost-effective option. With rapidly increasing house prices, this is no longer the case. Although the average rent on a two bedroom home currently stands at a shocking £2,469 per calendar month, compared to an eye-watering average asking price of £717,322, renting makes the most sense economically.

Further, rapid shifts are also to be expected, for the danger of an inevitable rise in interest rates cannot be ignored. A growth of just 1 per cent would render a static rental market more cost-effective in 80 per cent of locations.

According to expert Nicholas Leeming: "Conventional wisdom in that buying is better than renting in the property market holds true for most places around the country. However, there are places where renting is the better option which may be driven by an excess of buy-to-let flats or a shortage of properties for sale." Soon, it would seem, this will no longer apply in 'some places', but 'most places'.


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