Ideal for those looking for a budget friendly fresh start.

Searching for ideal, affordable living options in the UK? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Open Property Group carried out research in 2020 to answer the question: “Where are the most & least affordable cities to rent a property?” and concluded that, surprisingly, only 16 cities in the UK were deemed ‘affordable to rent in’. Furthermore, using average salary and average rent price data, they were able to conclude that Durham, Hull, Liverpool, Stoke-on-Trent and Derby were the best places to rent for those on a budget.

With that in mind and exploring the cities further, here are 5 of the most affordable cities to rent in the UK in 2020, IDEAL for those looking for a budget friendly fresh start.

LIVERPOOL

The two main things that pop in mind when someone mentions the word “Liverpool” are the Beatles and Liverpool FC. The third should perhaps be affordable rent. Indeed, with the average rent being only £557 per month and the cost of living cheap too, it’s no wonder that Liverpool is one of the best places to live in the UK.  Moreover, there is a wealth of things to do in city – which is probably one of the best cities in the UK this year the Condé Nast Reader’s Choice Awards.

Given its burgeoning cultural scene, it’s both popular with students on a budget and thriving millennials alike. Indeed, with a creative energy and youthful, anything-goes spirit, Liverpool is becoming a mecca for young go-getters with big ideas.

The city’s food scene is worth mentioning; once considered pale in comparison to some of their imperious Northern neighbours, the restaurant scene here gets more exciting – and more recognition – every time we visit. With an influx of independent restaurants and pop up eateries, the latter of which (according to the chair of Liverpool Restaurant Association)  is proof of the city’s “interesting, vibrant and innovative” food and drink scene, there’s something for all tastes here. 

Liverpudlians are proud of their city’s nightlife, both for the quality and variety. From the infamously boozy Baltic Triangle to its burgeoning speakeasy vibe, whatever kind of night you’re after there really is something to suit every taste. And we don’t think we have to mention its music scene. 

Finally, Liverpool is also one of the best places in the world for architecture. It’s a city that straddles the old and new with a thriving cultural vibe playing out against the backdrop of old industrial and historic buildings. From its world famous docks to civic monuments, some of the structures in the city date as far back as 1500. There are 2,500 listed buildings and 27 of these are Grade I; will you live in one of its famous buildings? Let’s see. 

DURHAM

Lots of people have chosen Durham as an affordable, agreeable place to settle in recent years…and who can blame them? The city has so much to offer. Indeed, those who’ve decided to call the city home have found that they experience the winning combination of a warm welcome, close knit communities, a diversity of food and entertainment options, and high employment rates.

With a population of around 48,000 people, Durham strikes a fine balance between offering an intimate, neighbourhood feel and not being overly crowded. As the home to the world-famous Durham University, the city boasts a thriving university community and has several attractions to entertain the young and young at heart. These include cultural exhibits such as the Durham Cathedral which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.

And because the city sits between London and Edinburgh (approximately three and two hours respectively), there’s no danger of getting bored when seeking a weekend city break somewhere larger. It’s also an eminently affordable proposition, Durham came out on top as the UK’s most affordable city to rent a property in, with 23% of the city’s average salary going on rent! 

HULL

Hull is also winning many hearts and pockets with its affordable rent and great amenities. This bustling port city, ranked the 2nd most affordable city to rent in, boasts a rich history with deep roots in the wool and wine trade as well as whaling and fishing. It is also home to the great University of Hull, which attracts students from all over the country, and is ranked just outside the top 50 in the UK.

Hull’s cultural gems include the Streetlife Museum of Transport, Wilberforce House, and the Hull and East Riding Museum. If you fancy something a bit more lively, you’ll find the city’s festivals (such as Pride in Hull, Humber Street Sesh and Hull Comic-Con) thrilling. With an average monthly property price of Hull £427, there’ll be plenty of coin left over to experience the best of the city’s concerts, shows and theatre. With a regeneration project in motion and an Arts Council on the cutting edge with new installations, studios and continued investment, this is a place seriously on the up. Catch the wave before it peaks.

STOKE-ON-TRENT

Stoke-on-Trent is rapidly evolving into a mecca for people who have a penchant for the finer things in life but are also keen to live within their means.

For those enthusiastic about cultural and historical gems, the city is home to the iconic, visually arresting bottle ovens, which were formerly used for baking pottery, the noble red brick universities, and Biddulph Grange Gardens, particularly the gold cow at the entrance and Japanese quarter, truly unique. 

The city’s fine tradition for ceramics (it’s the World Capital of the stuff) means kitting out your crockery cupboard is a doddle (and a damn lot of fun, too). As good an excuse as any to move here, we think. For a more modern shopping experience, The Trentham Shopping Village offers over 70 boutique stores housed in timber lodges, as well as eating options from all over the world. 

On the same estate and far removed from the shopping is Trentham Monkey Forest, which boasts woodland trails, al fresco adventures, and the chance to get up close and personal with the primates. To top it off, in 2020 was Stoke-on-Trent as the 3rd most affordable city to rent a property in.

DERBY

Having benefitted from roughly £2.2 billion worth of regeneration to date, it’s no secret anymore that Derby, with a population of 280’000, is a brilliant place to bed down permanently. 

Beyond the brilliant beer and its reputation as one of Britain’s Real Ale Capitals, the lively Cathedral city also has a diverse selection of excellent eateries that are propelling the city’s food scene past the famous Derby pyclets. Perhaps our favourite place to dine is Darleys, which has a gorgeous waterfront location and modern, inventive food. 

Future plans for the city focus on promoting the region’s excellent cycling, which can already be sampled at the Derby Arena, a gigantic new sports arena and velodrome, which opened last year.

If you’re a ghoul fanatic or if you simply love a good story, Derby has some great treats in store for you, with several ghost walks and tours taking in the city’s sometimes haunted history. If you’re scared of ghosts, don’t let that fear put you off the city! And we’re sure the average rental price of £491 won’t put you off, either.