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Renting in Britain costs £1,080 per year more than buying on average

11th December 2012

  • Buying is cheaper than renting in 90% of top 50 towns in Britain
  • York, Peterborough and Reading most expensive to rent versus owning
  • More cost effective to rent in Swansea, Cambridge and Bournemouth

Servicing an interest-only mortgage on an average property in Britain costs £1,080 less per year than the cost of renting, according to the latest data released from property website Zoopla.co.uk. Based on an analysis of properties on the market in the top 50 towns in Britain, the research reveals that owning is more cost effective than renting in 90% of locations around the country. The average asking rent for two bedroom flats nationally is currently £668 per month, while the average asking price of equivalent properties currently stands at £138,769.

Servicing an interest-only mortgage at 5% p.a. would cost £578 pm, a saving of £90 pm or £21pw compared to renting and leaving renters £1,080 p.a. worse off compared to owners. Using a 90% LTV interest-only mortgage at a typical Best Buy rate of 4.39%. , the cost of renting is even higher. The average mortgage on a two bedroom flat would stand at £124,892 with an interest cost of £457 pm, saving the average owner £2,532 p.a., not including the cost of the 10% deposit.

York tops the list of places where renting is currently most expensive compared to buying, with a 76.1% rental premium. Peterborough, Reading, Milton Keynes and Northampton all also have significant rental premiums and are much more cost effective places to own rather than rent. At the other end of the scale, it is currently more cost effective based on asking prices and rents for available properties to rent in Swansea, Cambridge, Bournemouth, Dundee and Huddersfield.

Lawrence Hall of Zoopla.co.uk, said: “The cost of renting continues to balloon as a result of first-time buyers continuing to struggle to get affordable financing. Even for an interest-only mortgage, it’s generally much more cost-effective to buy. Property prices are low by historic standards, and sellers struggling to sell are reducing asking prices, meaning there are still some bargains to be had for those lucky enough to be able to get a mortgage.”

Top locations where buying beats renting

Rank Location Avg. Monthly Rent* Avg. Asking Price* Rental Premium**
1 York £1,083 £147,624 76.1%
2 Peterborough £646 £102,793 50.8%
3 Reading £1,079 £185,904 39.3%
4 Milton Keynes £776 £135,156 37.8%
5 Northampton £611 £108,012 35.8%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk

* Based on 2 bedroom flats on the market for sale/rent in December 2012

** % variance between average monthly rent and average monthly cost of 5% p.a. interest-only mortgage

Only 5 locations where renting rules

Rank Location Avg. Monthly Rent* Avg. Asking Price* Rental Discount**
1 Swansea £663 £174,274 9.5%
2 Cambridge £1,062 £274,204 7.6%
3 Bournemouth £797 £205,606 7.5%
4 Dundee £516 £126,466 2.1%
5 Huddersfield £485 £118,547 1.8%

Source: Zoopla.co.uk

* Based on 2 bedroom flats on the market for sale/rent in December 2012

** % variance between average monthly rent and average monthly cost of 5% p.a. interest-only mortgage

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to editors

Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering users with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help consumers both find their next home and research the market by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data, local information and community tools.

At Zoopla we are fans of transparency and everything we do is aimed at making the market more efficient for both property consumers and advertisers alike. Zoopla has rapidly become the UK’s leading online destination for property consumers to search for homes and do their market research and the favoured online marketing partner for UK estate agents, letting agents and property developers.

Launched in 2008, Zoopla has since been one of the fastest growing websites in the UK, now attracting over 40 million visits per month and we are proud to have collected numerous awards and accolades along the way, including being named one of the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and one of the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta).

Zoopla is part of Zoopla Limited which was founded in 2007.

Zoopla Limited, The Cooperage, 5 Copper Row, London, SE1 2LH
Registered in England and Wales with Company No. 09005884
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