The best and worst value cities for renters revealed

The best and worst value cities for renters has been revealed following analysis of data across cities and locations throughout the UK.

  • New analysis shows the UK cities that demand the highest percentage of renters’ salaries
  • Data reveals more than half (53.03%) of Londoners’ salary is spent on rent
  • Bradford revealed as the best value city, where rental prices only account for 9.27% of residents’ average salary
  • Brighton named as the worst value city to live in outside of London

Bradford is the best value city in the UK for renters to live, according to new data. The research from job search engine, Adzuna, analyses average salaries from almost one million vacancies, compared to average rental prices per city, to find the best and worst value places to live.

According to the research, the cities in the UK where renters will spend the lowest percentage of their salary on rent, are:

City  Average salary (per person) Annual rent price (based on two sharing) Percentage of salary spent on rent 
Bradford £33,011 £ 3,060.00 9.27%
Kingston upon Hull £30,058 £ 2,802.00 9.32%
Carlisle £29,301 £ 3,054.00 10.42%
Derby £31,496 £ 3,456.00 10.97%
Perth £27,323 £ 3,012.00 11.02%
Newport £34,900 £ 3,918.00 11.20%
Wolverhampton £29,066 £ 3,438.00 11.83%
Belfast £35,452 £ 4,212.00 11.88%
Sunderland £27,381 £ 3,276.00 11.96%
Aberdeen £32,642 £ 3,960.00 12.13%

*Based on two people earning average salaries and dividing average rent equally. Average rents from Zoopla. 

With higher-than-average advertised salaries and relatively low rent prices, Bradford takes the top spot as the UK city providing the best value-for-money for renters. This is welcome news for the city, which was named “the UK’s most improved city” in 2019. In second place is the current City of Culture Hull, which isn’t far behind. Carlisle and Derby make up the remainder of the top five, showing a distinct lack of southern cities among the best value cities to live.

When it comes to the worst value, it may come as no surprise that London takes the top spot, where more than half (53.03%) of renters’ salary will go on rent. Moving out of the capital, the list of cities providing the worst value for money for renters is dominated by the South:

City  Average salary (per person)  Annual rent price (based on two sharing) Percentage of salary spent on rent 
London £42,557 £ 22,566.00 53.03%
Brighton & Hove £34,738 £ 12,528.00 36.06%
Oxford £33,431 £ 10,710.00 32.04%
Bath £32,386 £ 9,894.00 30.55%
York £29,813 £ 8,952.00 30.03%
Canterbury £28,475 £ 8,538.00 29.98%
Winchester £31,565 £ 9,384.00 29.73%
St Albans £30,765 £ 8,484.00 27.58%
Chichester £27,838 £ 7,140.00 25.65%
Tunbridge Wells £27,443 £ 6,906.00


Southern cities account for up nine of the ten worst value cities for renters, with the commuter belt continuing to prove challenging when it comes to affordability. With these figures in mind, it’s no surprise that a record number of Londoners are making the move up north.

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments:

These numbers definitely point towards more migration out of London in the coming months and years, as the capital becomes increasingly unaffordable. What we’re seeing at the moment is workers beginning to see northern England as an aspirational and affordable place to live, as they get priced out of London and other areas on the commuter belt.

“We’ve seen fantastic developments in northern cities in the past year, notably Channel 4 moving its offices to Leeds, as businesses begin to recognise the talent that exists outside of London. We predict this will continue and we’ll see further growth in cities across the UK, as the workforce begins to recognise the default for great work opportunities doesn’t need to be the capital.”

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Kindly shared by Adzuna