The cost of renting a flat in the UK has a reached record high, with tenants being forced to pay a premium for smaller properties, according to property website FindaProperty.com
According to its latest Rental Index, which has been running since 2007, the average monthly asking price for renting a flat in the UK has reached £833 per month – the highest on record – and 2.5% above prices this time last year.
As renters come under increasing financial pressure to seek out more affordable accommodation, the cost of a studio flat has risen to £713 per month. Not only is this the highest price on record, it is also 5.9% greater than this time last year and 8.5% more than the current cost of renting a one bedroom flat, according to FindaProperty.
Despite being cheaper to rent than a studio, monthly asking prices for one bedroom flats are also at their highest, averaging £657, which is up 3% on this time last year. This is not the case however for two bedroom flats, which saw asking prices fall 0.1% last month.
This trend is also mirrored in UK property sales market, where asking prices experienced the largest month on month increase ever recorded by the index. At present, asking prices for flats in the UK are at their highest since January 2009, averaging £176,645.
Samantha Baden, property analyst at FindaProperty.com, said: “Rental tenants looking for smaller, less expensive accommodation are coming under increasing financial pressure as demand drags the price of these sought-after properties upwards. The rental sector as a whole is growing and very healthy, but competition for flats is stronger than ever.
“Studio flats tend to cluster in urban areas where there is more demand for single occupancy living and it’s this competition that is pushing the average asking price to new highs.
“The fact that the market for property sales demonstrates similar movements shows that people are looking to flats as a more affordable alternative to larger houses, particularly if they are reluctant to compromise on location. The property market is challenging at the moment, and as a result buyers’ expectations of what they can realistically afford are changing.”