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London rents soar to 40% of average pay

rent Residential properties after low temperatures and overnight snowfall on south London homes on Ruskin Park in SE24, on 12th December 2022, in London, England.
London was the least affordable region with a median rent of £1,430 being equivalent to 40% of median income. Photo: PA/Alamy (RichardBaker)

Londoners are paying almost half of their wages in rent as the capital remains the most expensive place to live in the UK.

Tenants in London pay an average rent of £1,430 ⁠— roughly 40% of their average pay.

By contrast, private renters could expect to spend 26% of their wages on an average priced home in the rest of England, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

In both Wales and Northern Ireland it is even cheaper to rent, with tenants spending around 23% of their income.

Read more: UK house prices will fall 8% in 2023, Halifax predicts

But the most affordable rents in the country, in relation to salaries, are found in West Midlands and East Midlands with average rents coming in at 21% and 22% of real pay, respectively.

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The average rent in England was of £730 a month, the equivalent of 26% of an average household income of £2,825 per month.

In Wales, tenants were paying £550 monthly rent, the equivalent of 23% of an average household income of £2,350.

In Northern Ireland, rents were around £600 per month, which is about 23% of an average household income of £2,605.

The figures from the ONS show that in 2021, average rents in London were nearly twice as high as those of Yorkshire and the Humber, while incomes were only one-and-a-half times as high.

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The figures report to the financial year of 2021, which ended in March last year. Rents have soared in recent months, with private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK jumping by 4% in the 12 months to November 2022, according to a separate report by the ONS.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ UK Residential Market Survey reported tenant demand remained strong across the lettings market, driving rents higher.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?