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Revealed: the cities outperforming national rental growth

Rental price growth in English cities undergoing extensive regeneration is outpacing the national average, new research shows.

Looking at 12 cities in England to have seen some of the largest levels of regeneration, Bunk found that the average rental price has increased by 21% in the last five years, compared to just 16% across England as a whole.

The study by the letting platform looked at the impact of gentrification on rental prices, and how rental growth in cities to have seen extensive regeneration compared to the national average.


The report found that the gentrification of an area often presents an opportunity for landlords who have otherwise seen the financial return of their buy-to-let investment come under attack from an increase in stamp duty, less favourable tax incentives and the recent tenant fee ban.

Manchester has seen the most significant boost, with the relocation of the BBC and the regeneration of Salford Quays helping lift rental costs by a huge 38% in the last five years.

Cambridge ranks second with rental prices up 31% since 2014 and with planning consent awarded for 200 new homes on the Mill Road Depot site, this is set to continue. 

Newcastle has also seen rents increase 31% closely followed by Bristol at 29%, with the city earmarked as a gentrification hotspot with wages up and a large amount of cultural investment.

Amongst some of the other largest rentrification uplifts are Portsmouth (19%), Liverpool (17%), Brighton (16%) and Oxford (16%) where rental costs have all performed at or above the national average.

While Reading (15%), Sheffield (15) and Birmingham (15%) all sit just below the national average, further investment suggests rents will continue to increase at a healthy level.

At 13%, London has seen the lowest level of rental growth despite remaining one of the most unaffordable areas of the nation.

Tom Woollard, co-founder of Bunk, commented: “Regardless of your opinion on gentrification, one thing is clear. These transformations are positive in terms of the level and quality of housing stock being provided and there is certainly an appetite for these developments and for housing in areas to have seen drastic improvements.

“The silver lining for the nation’s landlords is that this maintained demand pushes up prices and these areas provide a very good return on investment in a landscape that is currently rather tough.

“So for those looking to invest, the best option is to get in early to an area that has been earmarked for regeneration but is still affordable at present, and you should see a healthy return despite the changes to the sector of late.”

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