Looking to find out where the most expensive places to rent an apartment in the UK are? Property giants Zoopla recently released their rental market report. The results show us exactly how the rental landscape is changing year on year. 

The report gives us a glimpse at how inflation is impacting rent across the UK. With a clear focus on how some areas are facing bigger increases than others as interest rates soar. 

The UK rental report - which you can view here - shows that there has been a huge 9.1% increase in rent across the UK. This excludes London, which had an even bigger annual increase of 15.7%. Renters are now looking at having to spend around 37% of their monthly salary on rent alone. 
 

The top 15 most expensive places to rent in the UK

According to the report, the pandemic has had a large part to play in increasing prices. During the pandemic, a lot of people left city centres due to the ability to work from home. Post-pandemic has seen a lot of workers return to the cities as the need to get back in the office has increased. This has put a huge demand on properties in these key areas, driving up rental prices in the process. 

Below, we've listed the most expensive places to rent in the UK, as of March 2022. We can see how the South-West has seen the largest increase in rent. With monthly rent increasing by £217 since March 2020. 

Rank

City

Avg. 1 Bed Rental in City Centre (PCM)

1

London

£1800.73

2

Cambridge

£1261.11

3

Brighton

£1182.15

4

Oxford

£1135.02

5

Milton Keynes

£1003.43

6

Bristol

£984.29

7

Reading

£963.49

8

Manchester

£921.59

9

Edinburgh

£916.76

10

Bournemouth

£851.27

11

Leeds

£828.09

12

Belfast

£775.64

13

Birmingham

£770.80

14

Glasgow

£766.82

15

Nottingham

£750.86


*Data sourced from https://www.numbeo.com/property-investment/country_result.jsp?country=United+Kingdom 

 

London

London Skyline

With plenty of jobs, culture, history and more, London has everything you need. It's also why the demand for rental property is so high. With a lack of social housing, demand for properties in the capital has skyrocketed. 

Cambridge

Cambridge

Cambridge, given its proximity to London, has also felt the impact of these increases. Cambridge is regularly listed among the best commuting towns for workers in London. Its idyllic countryside and 51 minute train ride into London make it the ideal place to live. 

Brighton

Brighton

Another South-West based city, Brighton is a stunning seaside location. It has direct links to London, making it the closest coastal city to the capital. It offers commuters the chance to live in a more relaxed and slower-paced environment. 

Oxford

Oxford

Oxfords’ iconic architecture is a sight to behold. This South Western city is often used as a filming location for TV and films. It's also a relaxed and easy-going place to live. 

Filled with independent stores and easy access to beautiful countryside. Oxford is another area that offers idyllic living with great links to the capital.

Milton Keynes

Again, Milton Keynes boasts excellent transport links to London. Making it another popular destination for commuters. Filled with leisure and amenities it boasts some of the nation's best green spaces.   

Bristol

Bristol

The first location in the top 15 most expensive places to live in the UK outside of the South-West. Bristol is based in the South-East of England and is a hub of art and culture. 

Bristol is one of the best places in the UK for transport. With direct links to some of the biggest cities in the UK. These include London, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff. 

Reading

Reading

Another South-East city, Reading, sits around 1hr 30 mins drive from London. It also boasts 25-minute train journeys into the capital, again perfect for commuting.

Reading is one of the ideal places for London workers to live more affordably than in the capital. 

Manchester

Manchester

One of the UK’s capitals of science and Industry, Manchester is the first city on the list situated in the North. The city is often cited as the capital of science and industry. It boasts excellent job prospects, vibrant culture and a thriving social scene. 

From Manchester's Piccadilly station, you can catch a train to pretty much anywhere in the UK. It's a modern and cosmopolitan city popular with students. It has one of the highest graduate retention rates, around 51.5% of students decide to stay in Manchester.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

A stunning city and capital of Scotland. Edinburgh perfectly blends the old and the new. With classic and historical architecture, and rural landscapes surrounding the city centre. You're never too far away from the quieter life of the countryside. 

In regards to Edinburgh's rental price increase, Steven Coyle from Cullen Property said

"Uncertainty regarding COVID caused most tenants to just stay put, especially if working from home. We expect this trend to continue well into 2022, exacerbated further with a possible high retention rate in the student market in spring, with tenants reluctant to let good flats go."

Bournemouth

Bournemouth

Bournemouth sits on the Dorset coast, adorned with golden sandy beaches. It has a mix of big brand shops and independent stores, award-winning gardens and more. 

Bournemouth is also home to the Jurassic Coast, a world heritage site. Amongst many other amazing places of interest, including the New Forest National Park. 

Leeds

Leeds

Another of the North-West's cosmopolitan cities. Leeds is popular with students and professionals alike. Due to the vibrant job market, amazing culture and social scene. 

Those living in Leeds not only have access to the bustling city but also some of the UK's best National Parks. Plus, its closeness to major motorways such as the M1 and M62 makes national travel easy. 

Belfast

Belfast

The only city in Northern Ireland to make the list. Belfast is NI's capital city and popular with creatives. It's surrounded by natural beauty and always has something going on. From festivals to markets, Belfast regularly plays host to fun cultural events. 

The city may have one of the highest average rental prices in the UK, but the cost of living is affordable. With consumer prices costing 23.5% less than London.

Birmingham

Birmingham

Once the leader of the industrial revolution, Birmingham is now one of the UK's biggest cities. Recently a host to the Commonwealth Games, the city is a centre for sport, art and media. 

Birmingham is also close to quieter countryside living and has excellent transport links. From Birmingham's New Street station you can access trains to anywhere in the UK. Including the capital, London. 

Glasgow

Glasgow

If you're eager to make the move to Scotland but don't want the business of Edinburgh, then Glasgow is the place to go. Glasgow is a less touristy city, with an amazing art and culture scene. 

Over the last few decades, the city has seen a big regeneration. Now it's a popular destination for young professionals. Plus it has great links to the natural beauty of the Highlands and beyond. 

Nottingham

Nottingham

Situated in England's East Midlands, Nottingham has long been a popular student location. Now it's also proving popular with young professionals. Offering a mix of classic and contemporary and easy access to stunning countryside. 

The city is very much in the heart of the UK with its access to the country's best transport links. Including the M1 and M6 motorways, leading you to the UK's biggest cities and attractions.  
 

The Most Expensive Places To Rent in The UK


All 15 of the UK's most expensive places to rent have a lot to offer, but supply and demand remain an issue. Many of these cities say the demand for rental properties is the cause of increasing prices. 

Private rentals are affected by inflation and too little social housing is being built. More renters than ever are looking for affordable and easy rental solutions. If you're looking for somewhere to live in or near London, explore our apartments to rent.

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Josh Sebastian

Author

Josh is an experienced London resident and stellar local guide. With his finger on the pulse of things to do in London, he's constantly sharing lesser-known tips and recommendations with readers.