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When looking for rented accommodation in the UK the overriding priority for tenants in every age group and in every region is affordability, new research shows. Nearly two thirds of respondents in the Knight Frank UK Tenant Survey, one of the largest of its kind ever carried out, said this was their main concern when compared to location or space in the property. Around a quarter said that location was the most important factor when choosing a rental property, while 10% said that the size of the property was the key consideration. Those earning between £30,000 and £35,000 a year were slightly above average in their concern about affordability with 67% citing it as an issue but moving up the income scale location becomes a bigger priority, with 39% of those earning between £50,000 and £60,000 a year citing this as their main concern. When asked how much of their gross income they would be willing to pay on rent, the average response was 40% but there are some significant regional variations. Only 17% of those in the North East would spend more than 40% of their salary on rent, but this more than doubles in the South West, to 32%. In London and the South East, around a fifth, 22% and 20% respectively, of respondents are prepared to pay between 40% and 50% of their income on rent, while 11% of Londoners are prepared to pay more than 50%, underlining the cost of renting in the Capital. Some 23% of those aged under 25 are also prepared to pay between 40% and 50% of their monthly pay on rent, highlighting the relatively weaker earning power of those just starting out in their careers against the cost of renting a property. There is also evidence of a rent ‘ceiling’, even for those on higher earnings. While a third of those earning between £20,000 and £25,000 a year said they would pay a maximum of between 30% and 40% of their income on rent, only 24% of those earning between £45,000 and £50,000 a year said the same. ‘Even if their income rises, there is still a natural limit to what tenants are prepared to pay on rent,’ the report says. After affordability is factored in, it is clear that location plays a crucial role. Some 55% of respondents said that having a rental apartment or house close to where they work or study was important, with more than a half also identifying proximity to transport links, shops and other amenities as a priority. Breaking down the results by age, it is clear that young professionals value living close to their office, fitting with the trend for demand for city centre private rented sector accommodation. Some 73% of those under 25 and 66% of 25 to 34 year olds said that when looking for a rental property, being within reasonable proximity of where they work and study was a key priority. Around 58% of those… Continue reading →
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