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Buying a house is becoming less and less possible to many people in the current climate. More of us are abandoning the mortgage and sticking to the rental arena for much of our lives. For some, renting before you buy seems like the more sensible option. But where are the cheapest places to rent in the UK? Furthermore, what are they actually like? Take a look at our definitive list for more insight. All average rent figures are from the Valuation Office Agency’s 2015-2016 data.
Before the £450pcm rent and £1.30 pints get you too interested, we must warn you County Durham isn’t for everyone. Durham is deemed to be the most beautiful Cathedral city in the UK. Despite this, the traffic is a huge turn-off for some, while the university student vs local youth rivalry is claimed to regularly bubble over on Saturday evenings.
Having said this, there are plenty of great reasons to pack up your bags and head to Durham. The area offers beautiful sights, especially at night. While the country walks and close-by national parks propose a more refined social life, the buzzy Newcastle is easily commutable. The injection of students to the city lend it a lifeline from its ageing appeal.
Close neighbour to tenth spot, Darlington is described by The Guardian as an ‘unexpectedly pleasant town’. Parts of the centre are politely labelled as ‘dreary’ while the winters are considered devastating to the uninitiated. If you can look beyond this, you’ll see a high employment rate of 72% and a life expectancy slightly higher than the national average. Cost of living is cheap and residents seem both cheerful and patriotic in their support of the area.
There’s a lot of negative chat about Barnsley. Once a British powerhouse with strong industrial, agricultural and mining roots, today the town is in need of a bit of TLC. Despite the need for revival, a £427pcm average rent is still attractive. If you look a little further into the area, you’ll see it has a lot to offer. Luscious countryside and excellent transport routes to key cities like Sheffield make the town more appealing.
Another former mining town, Bolsover is also a mixed bag when it comes to resident reviews. Some cite its troublesome youth culture while others completely dismiss such comments. An overall pleasant feel is said to infect the town while its community spirit is strong and prosperous.
North East Lincolnshire has some pretty reasonable rent at £425pcm but it also has a pretty bad rep among some residents. One of the more noticeable issues is its poor mobile coverage. The area gets only 87% coverage which sounds high but the majority of areas in the UK receive 99%. The average income is higher than its surrounding areas while employment rate is spot-on average. Overall, it seems to offer a positive vibe which reverberates through internet comment pieces and resident forums.
Stoke-on-Trent gets a lot of bad press online. In fact, the town was recently the topic of fierce debate after being labelled as the eighth-worst place to live in the UK according to website ilivehere.com. Thankfully though, a handful of resolute residents came to the town’s support. Dwellers of the Staffordshire city praised its friendly citizens, luscious green spaces and ‘overall nice feel’. One person even dubbed the town ‘a real place, for real people, in the real world’. For an average of £435pcm on rent, there’s plenty of reasons to head to Stoke-on-Trent and pledge your support to the town.
Say what you want about Pendle, parts of it are truly beautiful. The Lancashire Borough was referred to as the most anxious place to live in the UK according to an Office for National Statistics study but we’ll look beyond this. The truth is, if you’re the type who loves the feel of former mill towns and socialising with strong jawed no-nonsense villagers, you’ll love it here.
There are two ways to look at Hyndburn. Either you look towards the desolate streets of Woodnook, Accrington that are filled with boarded houses and industrial age architecture. Or you look towards the low unemployment rates, low crime rates and general community spirit of the wider Hyndburn area. Now may even be the perfect time to move to the borough. Some of the vacant areas including much of the empty homes in Woodnock are set to see a revamp in the coming years. Who knows, your £435pcm rent could be a steal in years to come.
Back in 2007 Channel 4 aired an episode of ‘Location, Location, Location 20 Best and Worst Places to Live’. In this they labelled Burnley as the 19th worst place to live in the UK. What we love about this scenario is how the people of Burnley rallied together and blasted the show for it. It’s clear this town does not lack community spirit.
If you’re keen on a no-nonsense style of living, this is certainly a place for you. Burnley offers a high quality of life coupled with picturesque countryside albeit a little rough around the edges.
Hull is a city to truly divide opinion. Some say it’s one of the best places to live in the UK, others say it’s one of the worst. There’s no denying the city was once considered the butt of many a joke. Though today it’s in the middle of a huge revamp. Initial laughing points like its fishy smell and obesity rates have been replaced with commendation for how far the area’s come. To the extent that it’s actually UK City of Culture 2017. We’re not surprised people are escaping to the city for its average rent of £395pcm and bustling streets.
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