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Should I move out of the city?

Should I move out of the city?
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Renters could save more than £200 every month simply by swapping the city for the suburbs. The revelation comes from digital banking platform thinkmoney who compared average monthly rents in 23 city centres to the nearest best-rated suburbs. So, is it time for you to move out of the city? 

Swapping the city for the suburbs

If you’ve been trapped in your rental throughout lockdown, it’ll come as no surprise that searches for ‘moving to the country’ have increased by 29%.

Survey results from property experts Savills also show that 71% of younger buyers crave outdoor space. More specifically, 40% of those asked would be likely to choose a new home in a village location. Interestingly, commuting wasn’t even a big deal, with one in six saying they were ready and prepared for a longer commute. 

But based on thinkmoney’s research, relocating to the suburbs doesn’t even have to mean moving to the back of beyond. In fact, moving just 4.6 miles could help you save £225 each month, adding up to a not too shabby £2,700 every year.

Over four years (the average tenancy length), that’s a staggering saving of £10,800. If you’re stashing cash to buy your own place with a mortgage, that’s 93% of an average 5% deposit (currently £11,600).   

Where to make the biggest savings

It won’t be a shock to discover that moving out of London yields the biggest savings, but there’s cash to be saved throughout the country.

Here are thinkmoney’s top ten moves according to the amount you could save: 

  City/town Average rent (city centre) Suburb Average rent (nearby suburb) Rent saving (per month)
London £4,302 Welwyn Garden City £1,085 £3,217
Leeds £1,285 Horsforth £826 £459
Manchester £1,194 Sale £808 £386
Bristol £1,370 Totterdown £1,078 £292
Birmingham £1,030 Moseley £768 £262
Nottingham £1,116 West Bridgford  £873 £243
Leicester £933 Oadby £726 £207
Reading £1,162 Earley £1,041 £121
Liverpool  £915 Crosby £799 £116
10  Coventry £970 Earlsdon £884 £86 

The shortest distance between locations is Bristol to Totterdown. Moving just one mile out of Bristol city centre results in the fourth biggest saving.

Leeds to Horsforth is just five miles, followed by Manchester to Sale which is an eight-mile journey.

And although Welwyn Garden City might be in an entirely different county, it’s just 24 miles from London, or a 30-minute train ride away.

Can homeowners make the same savings? 

Sadly, no. 

The research by thinkmoney went on to show that city living homeowners can expect to pay 9% more for a house in the ‘burbs (based on averages). Why the difference?

Well, not only has there been a surge in demand for suburban properties, but the stamp duty holiday has also helped keep prices buoyed. In one extreme example, homes in Walkden, outside Manchester, saw more than half (60%) of homes sell for over their asking prices due to the demand for rural living. 

Relocate, relocate…relocate?

If you’re renting, then relocating just a few miles could boost your bank balance significantly. If it turns out that suburban living is not for you, you can always move back to the city (and enjoy the savings you’ve made).

And if you dream of homeownership, moving out of the city could help you save for a deposit much quicker. Why not check out this rundown of the best places to save for a house deposit as well as what not to do before you apply for a mortgage.  

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