To Rent or Buy?

publication date: Nov 23, 2010
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

To Rent or Buy?

With the cost of maintaining our ageing housing stock on the rise, is now a good time to buy – or should you stay renting?

According to Zoopla, 80% of British cities/towns are now cheaper to buy in than rent a two bedroom flat in 50 locations throughout the UK. In some locations – not necessarily the ones you would expect – renting is more costly than buying.

For example in York, rents exceed the cost of a mortgage by a massive 39%! At the other end of the scale, the average price for a two bed flat in Aberdeen is  just 833 per month to rent versus buying a flat at £254,618.

For Londoners who must feel that they are continually ‘priced out’ of the market, at least for now, can take comfort in the fact that renting is still better than buying. Nicholas Leeming, Commercial Director from Zoopla says “The average rent of £2,121 per month is still high compared to the average asking price of £444,553, and buyers stand to save 14% annually compared to renters.”

On average, a renter across the UK pays an average of 9.9% more than a home owner who is paying mortgage interest at 5%. This can make knowing what to do next for first time buyers confusing as many are holding off buying either because they can’t raise a big enough deposit or because it’s tough to get finance, but especially because of the lack of confidence in the market place.

However, although this is interesting from a news perspective, it’s important to bear in mind that we are still living with an artificially low interest rate and if rates increase by 1%, this quickly pushes a number of areas back into renting being a more cost effective option than buying.

Top 5 Locations where Renting is more Expensive than Buying

  • York rent to buy ratio is 0.72
  • Birmingham rent to buy ratio is 0.72
  • Milton Keynes rent to buy ratio is 0.74
  • Reading rent to buy ratio is 0.74
  • Derby rent to buy ratio is 0.74

Top 5 Locations where Buying is more Expensive than Renting

  • Aberdeen rent to buy ratio is 1.27
  • Swansea rent to buy ratio is 1.13
  • Huddersfield rent to buy ratio is 1.07
  • Edinburgh rent to buy ratio is 1.06
  • Plymouth rent to buy ratio is 1.05

See every one of the 50 locations at on Zoopla

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