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An average UK tenant now spends 38.3% of their salary on rent

Tenant referencing provider Canopy has released data from its inaugural rental affordability index, which reveals that the majority of UK tenants are at the very limit of what experts believe is ‘affordable’.

Using almost 50,000 data points, the rental affordability index paints a comprehensive picture of the correlation between take-home income and rental costs across the UK market.

Many experts advise that 40% of take-home salary is considered the outer limit of affordability, and the new data shows that on average, 38.3% of take-home salary is now going on rental payments.

A further 19% of tenants across the UK are now spending over half of their salary on their rent. With an approximate 4.6m privately rented households, this suggests that roughly a million households are spending over half of their income on rental payments.

Stirling in Scotland is the UK’s toughest area for rental affordability, with the average renter spending almost two-thirds of their wage (62%) on rental costs alone. Belfast is the most affordable city for renters in the UK, with the average tenant spending just over a quarter of their salary in rental payments (26.7%).

Chris Hutchinson, CEO at Canopy, commented: “It is sobering to see that one in five tenants are spending the vast majority of their salary on rental payments, and it neatly encapsulates the tricky situation that many tenants with aspirations of home ownership are in.”

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