Renters now spend more than a third of their disposable income on rent across large parts of England, new research has revealed.
The investigation, conducted by the BBC, uncovered the most expensive rental hotspots across England, with London unsurprisingly coming out on top.
BBC England's data unit, which analysed the average rents for different types of property in each local authority area and the median weekly wage for those areas, using figures published by the Office for National Statistics, revealed that a one-bedroom property would now consume more than half a renter’s disposable income in 24 London boroughs and the City of London.
Most of the 142 areas where the average rent for a one bedroom property was higher than 30% of take-home wage were located in London and the South East, with only Manchester, Salford and York featured in the north of England.
The rental cost of a one-bedroom property also exceeds 30% of disposable income in Nottingham, Northampton, Warwickshire, Stratford upon Avon, Redditch, Warwick and Birmingham
Even the cost of renting a room does not come cheap in many areas, with the average cost of a room in a flat or a house in London now stood at £607 a month, compared to £424 across the South East.
Outside of London, the most expensive places to rent a room in the South East are large parts of Surrey, Oxfordshire and Tunbridge Wells in Kent
“Across London and the South East, the only option for average earners is to squeeze themselves into ever more crowded flat shares,” said Dan Wilson Craw, a policy manager at Generation Rent.
“This might work for some, but it's a completely unsustainable situation for anyone who wants to settle down. Unless rents start coming down, the capital and its hinterland will start losing workers and that will weaken the national economy,” he added.