Renting a home in Britain is currently 9.7% more expensive than owning on average.
And it is cheaper to buy instead of rent in eight in ten of the 50 largest towns and cities across the country, according to the latest research from property website Zoopla.co.uk.
The research looks at the current asking prices and rents of two-bedroom flats around the country and assumes interest-only mortgage payments of 5% p.a. to provide a comparison to the cost of renting.
The range of results by location provides some very interesting insight into where it is best to rent instead of buy and vice versa. Milton Keynes tops the list of places where renting is the far less attractive option with average rents exceeding the cost of servicing a mortgage by a staggering 43%, leaving renters there on average £2,964 per year worse off compared to owners.
At the other end of the scale, it is currently much more cost effective to rent in Poole than buy with renting 27% cheaper and the average tenant better off by £3,240 per year by renting instead of buying.
Even in London, which has by far the highest property prices in the country and where the average 2 bedroom flat is going for £431,366, buying is still 16% more cost-effective than renting.
With average rents at £2,137 per month in the capital versus an average cost of a 5% interest-only mortgage at £1,797 per month, renters pay an extra £4,080 annually compared to owners.
Nicholas Leeming, business development director of Zoopla.co.uk, said:
“The relative cost of renting as opposed to buying has increased over the past 12 months as rents have risen and house prices and interest rates have remained flat. Almost 750,000 would-be first-time buyers have reluctantly ended up as renters over the past 3 years as a result of being unable to get a mortgage. With current house prices and interest rates where they are and with rents on the rise, for those who can get a mortgage, there may never have been a better time to buy.”