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Room rents in commuter towns rising seven times faster than in London

Friday 17 June 2016

While London still leads the pack with the highest room rents in the country, new research shows that commuter town prices are giving the capital a run for its money.

Monthly room rents in towns like Luton and Swindon have risen by 14% and 13% respectively over the past 12 months.

And while the average London room rent is £747 – prices have only risen by 1.63% over the same period.

The figures from flatshare website Spareroom, provide landlords with vital information on average (mean) rents for a double room, including bills, across the country.

In the first quarter of 2016, the index reveals that renters in Luton pay £446 a month, and £455 in Swindon.

At one end of the scale, tenants in Twickenham and Esher can expect to pay £647 and £629 a month. At the other end, renters in Belfast can find rooms for an average of £278 a month, while those in Bradford are looking at paying £307.

The website lists over 340,000 properties with rooms to rent, and provides a handy yardstick for landlords looking to charge realistic market rents.

Commuter towns look promising for future investment

Enterprising landlords interested in renting out rooms in shared houses may want to consider the potential of commuter towns for future investment.

Perhaps inevitably, the commuter towns of Luton, Reading and Slough have seen the biggest annual house price rises, according to Land Registry figures released last month.

In Slough the average house now costs £236,000, up by 19%; in Reading house prices have rocketed to 270,000, up by 14%; and in Luton the average price is now £169,000 – a rise of 17%.

The same index showed that house prices in London rose to an average of £530,368 – an annual increase of 13.5%.

At the same time, the market in rented rooms certainly looks set to expand: from April 6 this year, homeowners are entitled to earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free by renting out a room under new rules.

Tenants look set to benefit from more affordable rooms, while prospective landlords may find that renting by the room becomes an increasingly attractive proposition.

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