ALONG with the coveted home-with-a-decent-sized-garden that happens to be in the inner city, the new Holy Grail on the rental market, it appears, is a house with a spare bedroom. That’s right, in a climate of housing shortages, tightened belts and the bedroom tax, a spare room in your rented property is now a rare luxury.
According to Hamptons International’s latest survey, Market Survey report last year there were just one in three tenants, 35 per cent, who were renting property with a spare room for when guests come to stay. The report goes on to say this is the lowest level they have recorded and is down from a high of 59 per cent in 2010.
The finding is partly explained by rents being on the rise which brought with it the increase of the average cost of an extra bedroom – people can’t afford that spare room not being used as sleeping quarters. In the UK, the average cost of rent is now £295 a month per room. And with renters having money fears, they’re only for what they can afford to pay, which is a property with the least number of rooms they need. We’re cutting our coat according to our cloth.
This trend is most exaggerated in the big smoke, where rents are already at their most expensive. In London the average additional cost for an extra bedroom would be £845 per month.
In 2016, only 26 per cent of renters in the capital were renting a home with a spare room – a 35 per cent fall compared with 2010.
However, the phenomenon is by no means limited to the capital. Other major cities across South England have also seen smaller proportions of tenants renting a home with a spare bedroom. Less than 30 per cent of tenants in Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol rent a home with a spare room.
Things are better in the North, with the report stating how tenants in cities further north are nearly twice as likely to have a spare room – such as in Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool, where 38 per cent, 40 per cent and 41 per cent of tenants rent a home with a spare room respectively.