Signs of tenants being priced out of major cities – Rightmove

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File image showing an aerial view of streets and houses in London, with the city skyline behind.AFP/Getty Images

Signs are emerging of tenants being priced out of major cities as rents rise and cost of living pressures continue, according to Rightmove.

The property portal said evidence suggested a greater proportion of renters were looking to move out of the city where they live than last year.

It said rental prices listed by landlords were up 12% in a year, and tenant demand was high.

The boss of Foxtons has said a lack of options will push people out of London.

The estate agency’s chief executive, Guy Gittins, told the BBC earlier this month that the situation was “so dramatic” tenants would “have to compromise on the property type or location”.

The Rightmove data suggests 42% of renters are now looking to move out of the city in which they currently live, compared with 37% last year and 28% in pre-pandemic February 2020.

London is the most likely of the 10 British cities analysed to see this happening, followed by Sheffield and Manchester.

While flexible working will allow some people to move away from cities, the main drivers of the trend were rising rents and competition among prospective tenants for relatively few properties, it said. However, there were indications competition was starting to ease.

Edinburgh city centre has seen the largest increase in average asking rents compared with last year – up 19%, Rightmove said, followed by inner London and Manchester.

Tim Bannister, from Rightmove, said: “Cost pressures and the imbalance between supply and demand are changing the way tenants search for their next home.

“We are seeing that a greater proportion of prospective buyers are looking for a home in the city they live in, but it is the opposite trend for renters who may be finding that they have been priced out of the city or have decided to move further out to reduce their overall bills.”

Rightmove recently said that all-inclusive rents were rising up the list of priorities among people searching for somewhere to live, owing to the strain of bigger essential bills, although experts said there were some pitfalls when taking this option.