Study reveals over two-thirds of people’s budgets in Scotland are too low to afford the average rental

21/07/2023

RENT prices are reaching record highs while house price growth has declined as higher mortgage rates hit the property market.

Admiral Landlord Insurance has analysed popular room rental websites to reveal where in Scotland and the UK renters are priced out of the rental market and the areas where demand exceeds supply the most.

According to their study, 68% of renters in Scotland can’t afford the average rental in the country. 

  • 68% of people’s budgets are too low to afford the average rental in Scotland.
  • 92% of people in Aberdeen can’t afford the average rental. That is more than anywhere else in the UK, including London. The average rental price in Aberdeen is £618 vs. an average budget of £463.
  • Per 100 rentals in Scotland, there are 197 people looking for a place to rent.
  • Glasgow has 302 people looking to rent for every 100 available rentals whilst in Aberdeen, there are 96 people looking to rent for every 100 available rentals in the city.
  • We also looked at different demographics – Aberdeen has the most pet-friendly and student-friendly rentals with 14 and 89 out of 100 rentals respectively being pet/student-friendly. Aberdeen is also in the top 3 locations with the most rentals with disabled access (10 per 100) 

Analysis of online room rental ads for single renters in Scotland revealed that more than two-thirds (67.5%) of people’s budgets are too low to afford the average rental.
They also found that the average rent for a single room in Scotland is £20 more than the average person’s budget.

Percentage of budgets below the average rental price
ScotlandEnglandWalesUK
67.5%65.1%69.4%65.7%

The data on average rental price per month and average single renter budget per month were taken from popular online room rental websites in the UK. The UK country breakdown does not include Northern Ireland due to insufficient sample sizes in different cities.

  • Renters are hit hardest in Aberdeen, where most locals can’t afford the average room rental with budgets too low 91.7% of the time. A room in Aberdeen costs on average £618, while the average budget is £463. 
  • London is in second place with 86.2% of renters who can’t afford the average room in the capital. The average budget for people in London who are looking for a room is £885 whereas the average rental in London is a staggering £1,107. 
  • Glasgow is in 12th place with 71.8% of renters’ budget being below the average rent in the city.
  • 65.4% of people in Edinburgh can’t afford the average rental.
RankLocationAverage Budget PriceAverage Rental Price% Budgets below average rent
1Aberdeen£463£61891.7%
2London£885£1,10786.2%
3Cambridge£707£80883.2%
4Newcastle£490£58178.0%
5St Albans£614£74576.9%
6Gloucester£553£61176.1%
7Cardiff£551£60975.6%
8Derby£487£52575.0%
8Swansea£476£51075.0%
10Sheffield£504£52373.9%
11Leicester£495£55773.4%
12Glasgow£583£63071.8%
13Liverpool£506£56271.1%
14Bournemouth£585£64168.6%
15Brighton£688£70668.5%
     
24Edinburgh£639£65965.4%

Supply vs demand: How many renters are there in the UK for every 100 rentals advertised?

  • Our analysis of rental ads in Scotland and the UK found that the demand for rooms to rent is much higher than the available supply. Per 100 rentals in Scotland, there are 197 people looking for a place to rent in the country. 
  • Looking at the UK overall, there are 152.1 people looking to rent for every 100 rooms available.
  • Looking more locally, Glasgow ranks 8th in our analysis and has one of the highest demands for rentals in the UK. Our analysis revealed that for every 100 rentals in the city, there are 302 people looking to rent.
  • Edinburgh and Dundee are in 11th and 12th place respectively with 278 renters looking for every 100 rentals available in Edinburgh and 277.8 renters per 100 rentals available in Dundee.
  • Aberdeen, in contrast, has 96 prospective renters for every 100 available rentals and is in 7th place for the fewest renters per 100 rentals.
Most renters per 100 rentalsFewest renters per 100 rentals
LocationRenters per 100 rentalsLocationRenters per 100 rentals
Salford1,061Doncaster53.7
Stockport641.9Coventry65.2
Oldham586.8Worcester87.4
Stevenage402.4Sheffield91.4
St Albans375.3Liverpool91.8
Wolverhampton373.6Swansea96
Crawley309.2Aberdeen96
Glasgow302.1Leicester99
Manchester290.5Hull101.6
Chelmsford282.4Birmingham107
Edinburgh278Blackpool110
Dundee277.8Gloucester111.9
London276.1Portsmouth113.9
Bristol276Preston114
Cardiff275.7Norwich115

The analysis is based on the availability of rooms for single renters.

Admiral have commented:

“Since COVID restrictions were lifted last year, there has been an increase in renters looking for housing accommodation.

Our analysis echoes this trend, with far more people looking to rent a room in each city than what is currently being advertised on sites such as SpareRoom. The rental market is also being impacted by the growing trend of landlords selling their properties. Propertymark research shows that between March 2019 and March 2022, 84% of landlords who removed their property from the rental market did so to sell it.

In 63% of UK cities analysed, we can see that the majority of single people looking to rent are priced out of the average rental price. On a national level, just over half of renters in England, Scotland and Wales can’t afford the average rental price for a single occupancy room, with London residents most affected by the huge disparity between rent and budget.

Compared to data from 2021, renters are increasingly priced out with the percentage of budgets falling below average rental prices increasing to 65.7% from 52.7%.

As for renters across Britain, they’re facing an uncertain future, with the Office of National Statistics reporting an increase in private rental prices of 3.7% in England, 3.2% in Wales, and 4.2% in Scotland.”

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