UK rents are 12.1% higher than last year but major cities have seen even more rental inflation. Find out the average rent for your area and how quickly rents are rising across the country.

The average UK rent is now £1,078 per month, a rise of 12.1% in the last year.

Rents are rising the fastest in large cities where shortages of available rental homes cannot meet demand created by strong employment markets and large student populations.

London has seen the highest rental growth in the last year at 17%. That works out to a rise of £273 per month for renters in the capital, compared to a UK-wide jump of £117 per month.

There’s also been high rental growth in Manchester (+15.6%), Glasgow (+14.1%), Bristol (+12.9%), Sheffield (+12.4%) and Birmingham (+12.3%).

Rental growth is slower in smaller cities like Hull, York, Oxford and Leicester, where rents rose less than 8% in the last year.

But that’s still higher than the average 6% rise in earnings in the same period. The average renter now puts 35% of their income towards rent, making renting in the UK the most unaffordable it’s been this decade.


Southern cities record highest average rents

Average rental rates are highest in southern UK cities – London (£1,879), Cambridge (£1,431), Bristol (£1,254) and Southampton (£1,006).

The only city outside of the south to match these levels is Edinburgh, where renters are paying £1,060 per month for new tenancies – an above-average rise of 12.4% in the last 12 months.

Looking at regions rather than cities, the most expensive places to rent a home in the UK are the South East (£1,189) and East of England (£1,051), both higher than the UK average of £1,028 per month.

While rents have risen at 9.4% and 8.4% in these regions respectively, those are some of the slower regional growth rates in the country.

The South West – with an average rent of £983 – is also tracking slower regional growth (9.7%) than regions further north.

Rents are cheapest in northern regions and cities

As a general rule, rents get cheaper the further away you move from London.

Wales, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North West are all recording average rents of between £700 and £800, offering greater value for money for renters.

But the cheapest regions to rent in the UK are the North East (£612), Northern Ireland (£679) and Scotland (£688).

If we look at major UK cities, the cheapest rental rates are currently in Newcastle (£712), Liverpool (£717) and Sheffield (£735).

Sheffield, however, has seen some of the highest rental growth in the last year with rents jumping 12.4%.

Will rents keep rising in 2023?

There’s only so much renters can afford to pay – and this is likely to have an impact on demand and the pace at which rents increase next year.

We expect annual rental growth to be between 4% and 5% by the end of 2023, as affordability limits of renters combine with a modest uplift in rental supply due to the weaker sales market.

Executive Director Richard Donnell says: “Increasing investment in new rental supply from multiple sources is the main route to reducing rental growth and making for a more sustainable private rented sector.”


Key takeaways

  • Rents are rising the fastest in large UK cities with strong employment and large student populations
  • London, Manchester and Glasgow recorded the highest rental growth in the last 12 months
  • The South East and East of England are the most expensive regions to rent in December 2022, while rents get cheaper as you move further north