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Rental Growth in Southern Cities Contested by a Flourishing North

New data has revealed that rents in Northern cities across Great Britain are rising on average 4.6% faster than cities in the South.

Rental Growth In Southern cities Contested By a Growing North

New data has revealed that rents in Northern cities across Great Britain are rising on average 4.6% faster than cities in the South.

The research, compiled by estate agency Countrywide, includes data based on the cost of new tenancies agreed by the firm over a 12-month period and ranks 20 of Great Britain’s largest cities based on their rental growth.

Countrywide found that seven out of the bottom 10 cities where rents grew at the slowest pace over the year were located in the South; with Oxford, Cambridge and London all dropping a minimum of five places from their place in 2015's rankings.

Conversely, the cities where rental costs for new lets have risen at the fastest rate were located mostly across the North of England or in Scotland.


Topping the list is Manchester, where rental costs have grown by 7.1% year-on-year – the fastest pace of increase across Great Britain and more than three times quicker than the average rate. Alongside Manchester, other top performing cities were York, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Whilst rental growth was found to have slowed throughout the country, declining slightly from 2.8% in September 2015 to 2.2% this year, this trend is more pronounced in Southern Cities rather than the North, where rental costs have continued rising at a similar pace than in recent months.

With rental growth slowing across the South, the North/South rental gap has narrowed to just 4.6%, or the equivalent of £31, over the last year.

According to Countrywide, the slight rental deceleration witnessed in the last few months is attributable to the increase in supply that followed April’s Stamp Duty buy-to-let rush. With more homes available to rent, tenants have had more choice, whilst competition among landlords has increased.

Commenting on the current state of the UK’s rental market, Countrywide’s Research Director Johnny Morris said:

“As some would-be buyers and sellers sit on their hands, Brexit-induced uncertainty has continued to boost to the rental market. Overall this is yet to stoke rental inflation, but September saw record activity, with increasing numbers of lets agreed and tenants choosing to renew their contracts. On current trends, 2017 could be the first time since the 1930s that more homes are let than sold.”

Earlier this week, HomeLet’s latest research  found that the average rental rate across the UK in September now stands 3.0% higher than in 2015, with the average tenant paying £910 pcm.

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