Renters will be pleased to learn the UK rental market has now passed its peak rate of growth. So where are the cheapest places to rent right now?

The cost of renting a home has risen rapidly over the last three years due to a chronic shortage of supply.

Rental prices have increased by a third in that time, adding £3,360 to the average renter’s bill.

But in good news for renters, we’re anticipating a major deceleration in prices for new lets during 2024.

The cost of new lets has now reached the ceiling of what renters are able to afford.

This will lead to a slowdown in demand and a gradual increase in the availability of homes to rent.

Our Executive Director of Research, Richard Donnell, says: ‘There are already signs asking rents have overshot in some markets showing resistance to higher rents.

‘Our data shows that rental demand has been steadily losing momentum over second half of 2023.

‘This is illustrated by the number of enquiries per home for rent. This measure peaked at over 35 enquiries per property in the summer of 2022.

‘There was a seasonal peak this summer, but to a lesser degree. We are now in the usual seasonal slowdown that will extend into Q1 2024.’

London to lead the way in reducing rents

One third of the UK’s rental homes are based in London and it’s set to lead the way in reducing the price of new lets next year.

The capital is the most expensive place to rent a home in the UK and prices for new lets here have already hit the ceiling for renters.

A year ago, rents here were rising at a rate of 17%. Today, that rate has dropped to 9.7%.

Across the rest of the UK, rents were rising at 11.9% a year ago. Today they are also rising at 9.7%.

In 2024, average UK rents are expected to rise by 5%, the lowest growth rate since in 2021.

Scotland bucks this trend however. Here, rental growth is continuing to gain momentum with rents up 12.9%, compared to 11.4% a year ago.

That’s largely because rents have been capped here, meaning landlords may only increase rents by 3% during a tenancy. That has led landlords and letting agents to push up prices for new lets in advance of them being rented out.

The cheapest places to rent in the UK – regions

For the cheapest rents in the country, the North East is where it’s at. Tenants spend an average of £671 per month on rent here.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Yorkshire and the Humber all sit at the cheaper end of the scale too, with rents averaging less than £800 per month.

Rents in the South of England are much more expensive than anywhere else in the country.

London is by far the most expensive region to rent in the UK (£2,125 per month), followed by the South East (£1,291), East of England (£1,143) and South West (£1,058).

Region Average rent Annual rental price change Annual % change
North East £671 £60 10.5%
Northern Ireland £746 £20 3.2%
Scotland £777 £90 12.9%
Yorkshire & The Humber £781 £60 7.8%
North West £828 £80 11.3%
East Midlands £845 £80 10.5%
Wales £848 £80 10.7%
West Midlands £881 £80 10.1%
South West £1,058 £90 8.8%
East of England £1,143 £100 10%
South East £1,291 £120 10%
London £2,125 £170 9%
UK average £1,201 £110 9.7%

Rental Market Report, December 2023 (data to October 2023)

The cheapest UK cities to rent a home in 2023

Just because you want cheaper rent, it doesn’t mean you have to move out to the sticks.

The cost of rent varies a huge amount across UK cities, with Aberdeen, Belfast, and Newcastle offering the cheapest average rents.

The only major city where rents are below £700 per month is Aberdeen, where the architecture is gorgeous and the cost of living low.

In Belfast, rents are currently averaging £762 per month – plus it has affordable living costs compared to mainland Britain.

Renters in Liverpool are paying £798 per month to live in the UK’s friendliest city, where rents have risen 9.5% in the last year.

Cities in the Midlands tend to be more affordable, with Birmingham and Nottingham both posting average rents of below £950 per month.

Elsewhere in Scotland, you’ll find a dynamic city lifestyle and cheap rents in Glasgow, where rents average £930 per month. But Edinburgh is much pricier with an average rent of £1,259 per month.

In southern cities, you can expect to pay higher rent than anywhere else in the country. London and Cambridge have the highest monthly rents of any UK city, with Bristol also posting an expensive average rate of £1,374.

City Average monthly rent Annual % change
Aberdeen £673 9%
Belfast £762 3.2%
Newcastle £793 11.7%
Sheffield £796 7.6%
Liverpool £798 9.5%
Birmingham £912 10.3%
Leeds £923 7.8%
Glasgow £930 13.2%
Nottingham £932 11.3%
Manchester £1,037 12.2%
Cardiff £1,065 11.8%
Southampton £1,098 11.3%
Edinburgh £1,259 15.2%
Bristol £1,374 8.8%
Cambridge £1,549 8.6%
London £2,125 9%

Rental Market Report, December 2023 (data to October 2023)

The cheapest places to rent in every region

Getting cheaper rent doesn’t mean you have to move to a whole new part of the country, either.

Here’s a breakdown of the cheapest areas to rent in each UK region. It might be that you could get a cheaper rent just by moving a few miles.

Region Cheapest area to rent Average monthly rent
North East Hartlepool £516
Scotland Dumfries & Galloway £541
Yorkshire & The Humber Hull £594
North West Burnley £552
East Midlands East Lindsey £643
Wales Powys £601
West Midlands Stoke-on-Trent £656
South West Torridge £754
East of England Waveney £740
South East Isle of Wight £869
London Bexley £1,513

Rental Market Report, December 2023 (data to October 2023)

Key takeaways

  • Rental inflation for new lets has now dropped below 10% for the first time in 20 months
  • The UK rental market is now passed peak growth and we expect rents in 2024 to halve to a growth rate of 5%. That’s the lowest growth since 2021
  • London will lead the slowdown with rents expected to increase by just 2% over 2024 as affordability pressures impact demand