• London rents have shot up 20% over last two years
  • UK rents rise 6.8% in one year to £497 per month

Dundee and Aberdeen have seen the biggest increases in average room rents in the past 12 months, according to the latest SpareRoom.co.uk Rental Index. Scottish cities fill three of the top four spots in the latest index.

Dundee, the fourth largest city in Scotland, is the only location in the UK that has seen a double digit room rent rise in the past 12 months, with average monthly rents increasing by 12.9% from £303 in Q1 2012 to £342 per month in Q1 2013.

Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, has seen room rents increase by 8.4% from £416 to £451, comparing average rents in Q1 2012 with rents in Q1 2013. Room rents in Falkirk have risen by 6.3% over the past 12 months, from £334 to £355, while Edinburgh has seen rents rise just 3.3% over the same period.

Across the UK as a whole, the average rent for a double room including bills in Q1 2013 was £497 per month, compared to £465 per month in Q1 2012, a 6.8% annual rise. In England, Bolton has seen the biggest Q1 2013 rent rises, with monthly room rents rising from £338 to £364, an increase of 7.7% in the past 12 months.

The following table shows the main UK towns and cities that have seen the steepest rise in room rents over the past 12 months:

the main UK towns and cities that have seen the steepest rise in room rents over the past 12 months

Click to enlarge

In London, average room rents across the capital stand at £660 per month inclusive of bills, up a mere 3.5% since Q1 2012, but now 20% higher than two years ago.

Rents in East London have grown by 6% this year, but are still amongst the most affordable in the capital, at an average of £620 per month. Renters will pay on average £134 more per month if they choose to live in leafy West London. South East London, at £581 per month including bills, has the lowest monthly rents in the capital.

With demand for rental accommodation in the capital showing no sign of abating, rents are likely to continue to spiral upwards for some time to come.

Matt Hutchinson, director of SpareRoom.co.uk, comments: “The fact that room rents in parts of the UK are rising at a rate well above inflation is worrying. It means people will be feeling the squeeze even more – particularly in Scotland. A rent increase of almost 13% in Dundee could be devastating for those who are already struggling.

“What’s surprising is that it’s not just the usual suspect cities like London – where demand is particularly high and supply is limited – that are seeing room rents escalate. Landlords are capitalising on demand all over the country and with so little affordable housing in the UK, and diminished consumer power amongst renters due to their need to live a commutable distance from work, this trend looks set to continue.

“The bright side for most who rent rooms in shared accommodation is that at least there isn’t the added cost of utility bills to factor in. ‘All inclusive’ is a silver lining in an increasing bleak rental market.”

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