Number of under-30s spending more than 30% of their salary on rent hits a five-year high – with Rotherham, Walsall, Bolton and London among the least affordable areas for young people to live
- Four in 10 people under 30 are spending more than 30% of their pay on rent
- London has the highest rents but other towns have seen affordability drop more
- People being forced to offer more than they can afford in rental bidding wars
- * Are you having to spend more than 30% of your pay on rent? Are you under 30 and struggling to afford it? Email [email protected] *
Four in 10 people under 30 are spending more than 30 per cent of their pay on rent, a five-year high which experts say is unaffordable.
This age group spends more of their earnings on rent than any other working-age group, according to data provided to the BBC by property market consultancy Dataloft.
The rental crisis for under-30s comes amid a cost-of-living crisis that has seen inflation hit a 40-year high, with energy and food bills rising rapidly.
Are you under 30 and struggling to afford rent?
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The data found that while London has the highest rents in the UK, places like Rotherham, Bolton, Salford, Walsall and Dudley have seen affordability drop the most since the Covid pandemic.
People are being pushed to offer over the asking price, and in some cases more than they can realistically afford, in rental property bidding wars due to a lack of homes on the market.
But Danisha Kazi, senior economist at research and campaign group Positive Money, told the BBC that supply shortage is not the only thing to blame. She said housing policy reforms since the 1980s, such making evictions easier, ending rent controls and introducing Right-to-Buy, had significantly reduced the power of tenants.
She added: ‘Rent as a proportion of income has been rising since the 1980s for all age groups, with younger cohorts particularly hit hard.
‘We also don’t have alternatives and people are heavily dependent on the private rental sector.’
Generation Rent’s policy and public affairs manager Sophie Delamothe described the situation as ‘dire’ for younger renters.
Four in ten under-30s are spending more than 30% of their income on rent- an amount which the Office for National Statistics uses as a benchmark for its unaffordability analysis. (Stock image)
She told the MailOnline: ‘There is a cost of renting crisis. With bills rocketing upwards every day and rents growing at their fastest rate in 16 years, young renters are struggling to pay all their bills and keep a roof over their head.
‘Even before the cost of living crisis, renters were finding it hard to afford rent. Now it is impossible. Most renters don’t have the bank of Mum and Dad to fall back on.
‘The government needs to do more to support young renters now by freezing rents and pausing evictions whilst the cost of living crisis continues. This would give young renters greater confidence in their future.’
Dataloft has data for over 400,000 records for the end of year to June, across all age groups, and estimates it covers about 40 per cent of the rental market in England, Scotland and Wales.
Cheapest places to rent revealed
Rent costs have shot up to record levels across the UK as 40 UK towns and cities see their highest-ever rent prices amid the cost of living crisis.
Some bargains are still available in the capital with rent for as little as £616 a month.
However, the priciest areas in the UK remain in London – the West End and Soho top the list with an average cost of as much as £1,229 a month.
According to data published by Spareroom, rent prices have ‘skyrocketed’ across the UK, with 50 towns and cities seeing year-on-year increases from 2021 to 2022 and 40 hitting record levels.
The priciest area in the UK is London’s West End where a room costs an average of £1,229 a month – as much as many mortgages
The data shows the cheapest place to rent a room in London is in Abbey Wood in the south-east of the city, where rent is £656 a month.
Bargains can also be found in Manor Park and East Ham in the east end, where rent is around £620 a month.
The most expensive place to live in London after Soho is Westminster and Belgravia where rent is £1,097 a month, followed by Earl’s Court at £1,060.
Outside London, the cheapest places to live are Darlington where average rent is £391, Huddersfield at £394 and Middlesbrough at £396.
Darlington offers the cheapest rooms to rent at £391 followed by popular and trendy West Yorkshire town Huddersfield
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