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Revealed: where it’s cheaper to rent a home than buy

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Buying a property is cheaper than renting in three quarters of Britain’s local authority areas, data shows.

Outside of London, St. Albans in Hertfordshire is the top location in Britain where renting is more cost effective than buying, while Hartlepool in County Durham is the most cost-effective location for buyers.

Property website Zoopla compared the average monthly cost of renting a property to the monthly cost of repaying a mortgage across the UK’s local authority areas.

In St. Albans, renting is 22% or £270 a month cheaper than buying. In Hartlepool, servicing a mortgage is on average 47% or £213 cheaper than renting.

On a regional level, North East England is number one overall for buyers as it’s 32% or £157 a month cheaper on average than renting, followed by Scotland in second place where it’s 30% cheaper to own.

In the capital, it’s better to rent than buy in 64% of London boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea heavily favours renters – here, the average rent is £2,878, while the average mortgage cost is £4,011.

It is significantly ahead of the next closest boroughs of the City of Westminster and the City of London where the difference between owning and renting is 30% and 28% respectively.

Barking and Dagenham is London’s top borough for buying rather than renting. The average mortgage cost is £1,062 compared to the average rent, which is £1,245.

Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla, said: “In some areas renters are paying a premium when you compare their outgoings to that of homeowners servicing a mortgage.

“Of course, buying isn’t always a viable option for those who aren’t able to put down a deposit or want the flexibility renting can offer. Those looking for comparatively cost-effective places to rent should keep an eye on the country’s top locations such as St. Albans, where renting is almost a quarter cheaper than servicing a mortgage.”

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