Average rental properties in Burnley among lowest in North West

Rental prices are among the lowest in the region
Rental prices are among the lowest in the region

Average rents for properties in Burnley are the lowest in the North West, figures reveal.

But as new analysis reveals the increase in rental prices across England is outstripping wage rises, leading charities have called for urgent investment in affordable social housing.

The median monthly rent for a property in Burnley was £425 in 2018-19, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

That was the cheapest among the 39 council areas in the North West, where average prices were £565 a month..

The median is a measure used to exclude extreme values which could skew the average.

Rents across England have risen by 22% since 2010-11, with the average now £700.

Average salaries meanwhile have only increased by 17%.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said "decades of failure" to build social homes had left millions with little hope of escaping the financial hardship they face in the private rental market.

She said: "Despite working all the hours they can, millions of people are struggling to keep up with the sky-high cost of private rents.

"Recent efforts to improve renters’ rights by banning costly letting fees and committing to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions are very welcome, but private renting is not always the right place for struggling families to live.

"Ultimately, the only way to solve the housing emergency is for the government to commit to building at least 90,000 genuinely affordable social homes a year over the course of this parliament."

Property is much more expensive for women than men.

With the average one-bedroom flat in Burnley costing £351 in 2018-19, the typical woman would have to fork out 26% of her pre-tax earnings to live alone, compared to 15% for the average man.

Across England, women would have to pay 38% of their salary on average to live alone, compared to 24% for men.

Shelter defines housing as unaffordable if it takes up more than 30% of a household's income.

The biggest rent increase in Burnley, where data is available, has been for two-bedroom homes, followed by three-beds.

Average rents in Burnley:

Single room: £ 368 in 2018-19; no data available for 2010-11

Studio: no data available

One-bedroom: £351 in 2018-19, up 1% from £347

Two-bedroom: £425 in 2018-19, up 15% from £368

Three-bedroom: £550 in 2018-19, up 15% from £477

Four or more bedrooms: £713 in 2018-19, up 10% from £650