Cost of living: Renting a room tops £700 a month on average - areas where prices have risen fastest

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“The housing market simply isn’t working for anyone - renters and homeowners are struggling and landlords are continuing to leave the market.”

The average cost of renting a room in the UK has surged to £700 a month for the first time as the housing crisis deepens. The record figures were featured in a report from one of the UK’s largest home-sharing websites.

Data from SpareRoom shows that in the second quarter of this year the average monthly cost of a room was £704 – 17 per cent higher than in the same period of 2022. Northern Ireland saw the largest regional increase of 20 per cent year-on-year.

It was closely followed by London and Scotland, which are both up by 19 per cent. The data revealed rents had risen every year in all the UK’s 50 largest cities and towns, with the biggest increases in Edinburgh (up 25 per cent), Middlesbrough (21 per cent) and Manchester (20 per cent).

Meanwhile, room rents reached a whopping average of £971 a month in London, based on rooms advertised via SpareRoom which are usually offered in shared homes.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom, said: “The housing market simply isn’t working for anyone. Renters and homeowners are struggling and landlords are continuing to leave the market.”

He said that although rents in London remained high, they had fallen slightly in June - but this was “the first time rents have decreased in the capital in over a year”.

“Nevertheless, for many people housing will be the key issue for the next general election, so we need to hear something positive and practical from all parties in the coming months,” Mr Hutchinson added. “Sticking plaster policies aren’t enough – we need real commitment to fixing this housing crisis.”

Experts said the data was proof the housing market “isn’t working for anyone”, and that rising rents meant tenants were stuck in unsuitable homes.Experts said the data was proof the housing market “isn’t working for anyone”, and that rising rents meant tenants were stuck in unsuitable homes.
Experts said the data was proof the housing market “isn’t working for anyone”, and that rising rents meant tenants were stuck in unsuitable homes. | AFP via Getty Images

The data is in line with other surveys carried out in recent months that highlighted unaffordable rent prices along with a shortage of properties. Estate agents Hamptons said the average new monthly rent outside London had passed £1,000 for the first time in May, and that tenants were paying around 25 per cent more than at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, said that “dramatic” rental rises meant some tenants are stuck in “unsuitable homes” that they can afford but would like to leave. He added: “Rising rents on new tenancies mean renters face compromises like squeezing into smaller homes or moving further away from workplaces and family.”

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