Rental payments account for over half (52%) of the average disposable income of £1,4711 for people living and working outside the capital, Landbay’s Rental Index found.
The average rent paid for a residential property in the UK outside London hit £761 in March, taking annual growth to 1.21%.
Those living in the capital face an even tighter squeeze, where average rents remain more than double the average for the rest of the country at £1,879. This is despite rental growth only recently returning to positive territory.
John Goodall, chief executive and founder of Landbay, said: “Rents have continued to rise over the last five years, increasing by 9% across the UK since March 2013 and by 7% in London – with monthly payments remaining a burden on those struggling to save.
“Tenants saving up for a house face a triple challenge with more and more of their income spent on rent, partnered with trying to catch up with the pace of house price inflation and record low interest rates limiting their ability to save money.”
Average disposable income in London is £2,108 so for single-earner households that means that the average monthly rent for a property is 89% of take-home pay. Accordingly, most London households must rely on multiple or high-income earners.
Outside of London tenants spend a far lower percentage of their disposable income on rent, closer to the national average.
Average rents in the South East now stand at £1,053, 58% of the average disposable income of £1,817 of those living in the region, while in East England average rents are 55% of take-home pay.
On the other end of the spectrum, those working and living in North East see the lowest percentage of their salary going towards rent, where just 41% of the average disposable income of £1,350 is handed over to the landlord each month.
Goodall added: “There has been much speculation about the long-term future of the buy-to-let sector from an investment perspective, however, demand remains strong as brokers would attest.
“Not a day goes by when there isn’t more news about the supply-demand mismatch in the UK housing sector and until this is resolved, tenants will continue to rely on the private rented sector to support them.
“With the right property and the right location, there are attractive yields to be had, and consistent rental demand will drive returns in the long-term.”