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London is only British city where it is cheaper to rent than buy

8th December 2017

  • Glasgow is Britain’s top city for buyers – monthly mortgage payments are 57 per cent cheaper than rent
  • Outside the capital, renters fare best in Brighton and Cambridge
  • On average, homeowners pay £136.47 less per month than renters
  • Buying a property is cheaper than renting in 49 out of 50 of the biggest British cities*, according to the latest data from Zoopla. London is the only city where rental payments are lower than the monthly cost of servicing a mortgage.

    Zoopla researched the monthly cost of renting a two-bedroom flat compared to repaying a mortgage in Britain’s 50 biggest cities to find that on average renters in London are 16 per cent (£328) better off every month, compared to those who own a property. The average rental payment in the capital stands at £1,840 versus the average monthly mortgage repayment of £2,168.

    Homeowners in the North of England and Scotland typically fare the best. Glasgow tops the list of locations where monthly mortgage repayments are cheaper than rent. Glaswegians’ average mortgage payments stands at 57 per cent (£298) cheaper than monthly rent. This is followed by Bradford and Dundee where servicing a mortgage is 53 per cent (£207) and 52 per cent (£225) cheaper than renting a property respectively. The northern towns of Middlesbrough, Doncaster, Barnsley and Warrington also feature in the top 10.

    Comparing rental and mortgage payments outside of the capital, the monthly costs are almost level in Brighton and Cambridge. There is very little difference – just one per cent – between the cost of renting and buying in these two commuter hotspots.

    Nationally, across Britain’s 50 biggest cities, the average monthly mortgage payment for a two-bedroomed flat stands at £564 – £136.47 less than the £700.47 average rent payment (assuming an 85 per cent LTV mortgage and an average asking price of £149,539.

    Further research from Zoopla suggests that these figures are reflected in the sentiment of renters. Its recent State of the Property Nation report found that 67 per cent of renters believe rates will rise over the next year, an increase of five per cent since 2016. In addition, 57 per cent of estate agents are predicting an increase in the number of renters joining the market, however, only 30 per cent think more rental properties will come available to meet this demand.

    Lawrence Hall, spokesperson for Zoopla, comments: “These figures demonstrate that renters across Britain are paying a premium compared to homeowners servicing a mortgage. Now only London appears a preferable city for renting. However, the recent announcement of a rise in threshold for the stamp duty tax may encourage more first-time buyers on to the market, so it will be interesting to see whether this boost for first time buyers impacts property prices in the near future.”

    Top 10 locations where mortgage repayment is cheaper than renting



    Median Monthly Rent

    Median Asking Price

    Average monthly mortgage repayment (based on 85% LTV)

    Rental Premium





























































    Source: Zoopla, November 2017

    - Ends -

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