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First-time Buyer

Renting cheaper than owning a home in most UK regions

Renting cheaper than owning a home in most UK regions
Anna Sagar
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Anna Sagar

The monthly cost of owning a first home compared to the equivalent rent cost is higher in nine out of 12 UK regions in 2023, a report has found.

According to the latest Halifax Owning vs Renting Review, the annual cost difference between homeowning and renting came to £319, but there was significant regional variation.

In the East of England, renters are £2,325 better off each year compared to homeowners, followed by the South East at £1,859 and East Midlands at £1,741.

Other regions where renters are better off include Yorkshire and the Humber at £1,731, North West at £1,475, Wales at £1,068, Northern Ireland at £1,051, West Midlands at £744 and the North East at £312.

The only regions where first-time buyers were better off were in the South West, where the annual difference came to £1,663, then Scotland at £424 and Greater London at £148.

The report added that the monthly cost of owning a home was £1,231 in the UK, which is £27 lower than renting a property, and the smallest gap between homeownership and renting since 2019.

‘Homeownership can offer long-term financial and living stability’

Kim Kinnaird, mortgages director at Halifax, said that the analysis showed that, in nearly all regions of the UK, first-time buyers are “better off renting than owning a similar home”.

“In fact, the only regions where it’s cheaper to own rather than rent are the South West, London and Scotland.

“We know homeownership can offer long-term financial and living stability, and that’s why we believe it’s an important step to take. Our customers want to create a secure future, so it’s a big priority for us to help people get there,” she noted.

Kinnaird continued: “However, elevated borrowing costs, alongside a lack of available homes to buy, are pushing ownership further out of reach for would-be first-time buyers in many parts of the country.

“This is why we’re major participants and big supporters of the government’s affordable homeownership schemes, such as shared ownership and the mortgage guarantee scheme, and we’re committed to helping first-time buyers fulfil their dreams of having a place to call their own.”

This comes a week after it was reported that average rents in the UK had risen by 9% year-on-year (YOY).