What is the average rent in the UK in 2022?
We're taking a look into what the average rent in the UK looks like in 2022, and why the market has changed so much. UK rents continue to climb and climb, and cities across the nation are seeing huge levels of rental demand from all around. Especially students, office workers and international tenants.
The effect of the pandemic on the UK rental market
We made it to 2022! A lot has happened to the UK rental market since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Isolation and national lockdowns have forever changed the way people live their lives. After being stuck inside their properties and working from their homes since March 2020, people's habits and needs for their homes have massively shifted. With people looking for entirely different things, it has of course had a dramatic impact on the UK rental market.
Rent prices in the UK were inevitably going to be impacted by the covid pandemic, but the impact has been far less than experts anticipated. The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) found that 48% of landlords expect a minor financial hit, with private sector rent deficits having the potential to reach as much as £437m.
However, the NRLA also found that nine out of 10 tenants continue to pay rent. Despite the arrears, there is still plenty of room for investors to earn serious money. Nationally, the total number of homes let/rented out between May and September fell by 5.3% compared with 2019. This can be attributed to fewer people relocating for new jobs/university and a rise in redundancies, house prices are continuing to rise at their fastest rate since 2016.
UK rental average year on year
The 2022 Zoopla Rental Market report displays how the rental market is currently performing in the UK. The results show a whopping average annual rent rise of 11% since Q1 2021. In early 2021, the same report actually recorded a -1% fall in rental prices. However, the current figures show the impact of strong demand from tenants combined with a lack of supply, particularly in some parts of the country more than others. When looking at affordability, it was found that the average single earner pays an astonishing average of 37% of their salary on rent. This percentage drops to 18.5% each for home sharers. While earnings only increased by 8.8% last year, UK rents have actually risen at a slower pace than earnings or inflation since 2016.
Looking at rent prices in London
Always higher than the rest of the UK, there has been a steep increase in rent prices in London. The capital's rental growth fluctuates much more than across the rest of the country, but Zoopla's report shows a 12% rise over the past year. This is significantly higher than the UK average of £1143 per month (August 2022), or £830 excluding London. Zoopla notes that the supply/demand imbalance is much more significant in the capital than in other top growth areas.
In London, the dynamics show demand sits at 68% compared with 47% in the supply of rental properties. The asking price increase is also being led by the city's flats, says the report, indicating a bounce-back and behavioural change since the pandemic began to push people away from cities in the race for space. Affordability of UK rents According to the English Housing Survey, around a third of renters are single occupants, so affordability has become more stretched for the average tenant paying out 37% of their gross earnings on rent.
However, for the other two-thirds of renters who live with friends or family, or in house shares, the average being paid is much less. As always in the UK, there are major regional and local variations. The North West and London, both have a very wide range of affordability depending on the specific area but differ greatly from one another.
Extending tenancies to curb moving costs
However, there will be a proportion of renters who are able to move to other markets in order to cut their rental outgoings. ‚Another way to do this is to stay put in their current rental property, as often tenants in situ can strike alternative rental deals with their landlord, especially landlords keen to avoid a void period on their property. Average tenancy lengths have been creeping up since 2017, according to Zoopla. Tenants are now staying by an additional five months in their rental properties, up to 75 weeks compared to 12 months five years ago.
Zoopla's latest market research may not paint the ideal image for renters amid rising prices. Amid the current global energy crisis and sharply rising cost of living, the UK rental market has found that the average renter is now paying up to about £62 more per month than at the start of the pandemic. The gender rent gap means women spend this much more of their wage on renting Alongside rising prices, the demand for rental properties has also increased, and according to Zoopla's research was 76% higher in January compared to the New Year market between 2018 and 2021.
The impact on Millennials and Gen Z
But while more people may be looking for properties, those who are priced out of areas or who are unable to get on the property ladder as first-time buyers, a severe impact may be had on their wellbeing. A new report published today by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing suggests that these bleak housing prospects are damaging Gen Z and Millennials‚ mental health and subsequently negatively affecting life choices. Rents have risen sharply in recent months, amid a backdrop of rising living costs‚Äù On average, renters are spending double on living or bills than people aged over 51 will, but compared to their parents, have a lower earning potential at the equivalent stage in their career.
Pandemic job insecurity, earnings lost from furlough and student debt all add financial pressure, on top of the cost of catastrophically rising expenses of living. As a result, four out of five people worried about their future housing prospects say it is unfortunately having an impact on major life decisions, such as having children. There is also the added stigma that renting a home is a failure, which is of course not true.
Average rent in the UK by region
Below is a breakdown of the average monthly rent for each region in the UK. A comparison has been made between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022 to show the difference. Not a single rent stayed as a flat rate, with Northern Ireland, the North East and London all seeing a larger increase all over +9% in just a year.
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £540 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £515 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +5%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £462 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £435 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +6%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £435 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £397 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +9%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £465 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £4438 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +6%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £429 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £375 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +14%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £535 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £487Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +10%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £586 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £556 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +5%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £542 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £502 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +8%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £464Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £422 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +10%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £450 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £431 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +4%
Yorkshire and Humberside
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £459 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £429 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +7%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £794 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £707 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +12%
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £597 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £576Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +4%
UK (excl London)
Average monthly room rent Q1 2022: £524 Average monthly room rent Q1 2021: £494 Annual change Q1 2022 vs Q4 2021: +6%
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Need more tenant tips and info on moving out? Read our blog: What fees and deposits must a tenant pay?