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Renters quitting cities in search of better value

Nick Cheek
Written By:
Nick Cheek

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 online estate agent Rightmove, 42% of renters are looking to move out of the city and are contacting agents. This is an increase from 37%  a year ago and up from 28% 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% in 2022 to 38% now. This was followed by Sheffield and Manchester which each rose 5% year on year.

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% over the past year, and are up 12% across 10 major city centres on average.

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

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 4% in Great Britain and the number of available homes growing by 8%.

Renters are also considering moving further afield, 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.”