The Sunday Times
Thursday February 21, 2019
Zoopla

Weighing up whether to rent or buy? Our research, which ranks the most cost-effective places to buy and rent, will point you in the right direction.

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  • Hartlepool in County Durham has been crowned Britain’s top location where buying is more cost-effective than renting.

    Zoopla compared the average monthly cost of renting a home with the monthly cost of repaying a mortgage across Britain’s local authority areas.

    And it found that servicing a mortgage in the coastal local authority area of Hartlepool is 47.4% (£212) cheaper each month than renting.

    Scottish locations made up seven of the top 10 areas where buying beats renting. But at the other end of the spectrum - and discounting London - St Albans takes Britain’s number one spot for cost effectiveness of renting over buying. Renting in the historical Hertfordshire city is 22.4% (£269) cheaper than owning on a monthly basis.

    To compare the cost of buying versus renting, Zoopla analysed current house and rental values of two-bedroom properties, assuming a 25-year mortgage and a fixed interest rate of 1.89% based on 85% loan-to-value.

    Overall, paying off monthly mortgage repayments is less expensive than paying rent in 75% of Britain's local authority areas.

    Top local authority areas where buying beats renting:

    Rank

    Local authority area

    Median rent

    Monthly mortgage payments

    Difference

    1. Hartlepool £449 £236 -47.4%
    2. East Ayrshire £469 £256 -45.5%
    3. North Lanarkshire £512 £279 -45.4%
    4. Burnley District £424 £231 -45.4%
    5. Middlesbrough £470 £262 -44.1%
    6.  North Ayrshire £481 £274 -43.1%
    7.  Falkirk £528 £303 -42.7%
    8. Clackmannanshire £539 £310 -42.5%
    9.  West Dunbartonshire £546 £314 -42.5%
    10.  South Lanarkshire £533 £314 -41.1%

    Top local authority areas where renting beats buying:

    Rank

    Local authority area

     

    Median rent

     

    Monthly mortgage payments

     

    Difference

     
    1.  St Albans  £1,202  £1,472  22.4% 
    2.  South Bucks  £1,206  £1,404  16.4% 
    3.  Derbyshire  £611  £702  14.9% 
    4.  Cambridge  £1,182  £1,355  14.7% 
    5.  Windsor & Maidenhead  £1,212  £1,384  14.2% 
    6.  Uttlesford  £934  £1,062  13.7% 
    7.  Christchurch  £927  £1,051  13.3% 
    8.  Three Rivers   £1,208  £1,364  12.9% 
    9.  North Hertfordshire  £939  £1,054  12.3% 
    10. Winchester £987 £1,105 11.9%

    In London, Barking & Dagenham is the most cost-effective for buyers, with mortgage payments coming in 14.7% (£184) cheaper than renting each month.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kensington & Chelsea heavily favours renters. It’s 39.7% (£1,333) more cost-effective to rent each month than buy.

    Overall, it’s better to rent than buy in 63.6% of London boroughs.

    Top London boroughs where buying beats renting:

    Rank

    London borough

    Median rent value

    Monthly mortgage payments

    Difference

    1.  Barking & Dagenham  £1,245  £1,062  -14.7% 
    2.   Newham  £1,450  £1,316  -9.3% 
    3.  Enfield  £1,339  £1,240  -7.4% 
    4.  Redbridge  £1,296  £1,211  -6.6% 
    5.  Havering  £1,165  £1,090  -6.5% 
    6.  Bexley  £1,105  £1,039  -5.9% 
    7.   Brent  £1,429  £1,347  -5.7% 
    8.  Hounslow  £1,323  £1,262  -4.7% 
    9.  Croydon  £1,208  £1,166  -3.4% 
    10.  Sutton  £1,179  £1,144  -2.9% 

    Top London boroughs where renting beats buying:

    Rank

    London borough

    Median rent value

    Monthly mortgage payments

    Difference

    1. Kensington & Chelsea £2,878 £4,011 39.4%
    2. City of Westminster £2,535 £3,290 29.8%
    3. City of London £2,342 £3,002 28.2%
    4. Camden £2,115 £2,546 20.4%
    5. Richmond upon Thames £1,574 £1,889 20%
    6. Hammersmith & Fulham £1,957 £2,316 18.3%
    7. Wandsworth £1,713 £2,025 18.2%
    8.  Islington  £2,012  £2,243  11.5% 
    9.  Kingston upon Thames  £1,343  £1,492  11.1% 
    10.  Southwark  £1,695  £1,874  10.5% 

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