The gap between the cost of buying and renting is down 59%, its lowest level in nine years, according to the latest data from Halifax. In 2018 buyers saved an average of £366 a year compared to renters, but this saving was down from £900 a year earlier, the figures released by the lender reveal.
In December 2018 housing costs, including a mortgage on a three-bedroom property in the UK, were £729 a month, compared to the average monthly rent of £759 for the same property type. Outside of London, Scottish buyers have the highest average annual savings of 20% standing at £1,574 compared to renting.
In contrast, the cost of buying property in Yorkshire is just 5% lower than renting, saving £361. Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, pointed out that while the gap between buying and renting is shrinking, owning a home is still cheaper than renting. He said: “With more products available for borrowers, these factors combined have pushed up the price of buying quicker than the price of renting. Meanwhile, the cost of rent, household maintenance and average deposits has remained broadly flat.”