Skip to content

The coronavirus pandemic has had an enormous effect on all aspects of our lives, not least when it comes to property.

The national lockdowns led to many people reassessing what they’re looking for from a property, with extra space, and particularly a garden becoming must-haves.

And of course, the biggest shift in behaviour has seen millions of employees go from working full-time in an office to full-time from home, or at least a few days a week. As this is a trend that’s likely to remain permanent, it’s left a lot of people questioning whether it’s worth continuing to live in city centres, especially as they can often get more for their money by heading out to the suburbs.

Average savings can be high!

In fact, a recent study found that Brits can save an average of £225 per month on rent by moving just 4.6 miles away from the city centre.

Over the course of a year, this amounts to a pretty substantial sum of £2,700, and over the course of an average tenancy, which is four years, this totals a whopping £10,800. Or to put it another way, this is just shy of a 5% deposit for a decent starter home in many areas.

While £225 is the average monthly saving, how does this compare to the higher and lower ends of the spectrum?

As you’d expect, London is the most extreme example, with a 2-bed property in the W1 postcode averaging around £4,300 per month in rent. If you were to move just over 20 miles north to the leafy Hertfordshire suburb of Welwyn Garden City, you’d be paying around £1,085 for a 2-bed place, meaning a saving of just over £3,200 per month, or £38,600 over the course of a year.

Now, this example isn’t particularly accurate for the vast majority of Brits, as very few people are able to pay over £4,000 per month in rent, so it’s worth looking outside the capital to get a more realistic picture.

Renters in Leeds can save a very tidy £459 per month on average by moving just five miles away from the city centre to the highly-rated suburb of Horsforth. A 2-bed property with an LS1 postcode costs around £1,285 per month on average, but the same-sized place in Horsforth, just north of the city centre would set you back £826, meaning an annual saving of £5,508.

It’s a similar story in Manchester, where a move out of the city centre to the nearby suburb of Sale, just over six miles away, can save you £386 per month, or £4,632 across a 12-month period.

Even at the lower end of the scale, a move out of Coventry city centre to Earlsdon can save you more than £1,000 per year, and it’s just over one mile between the two locations.

For the city that offers the best of both worlds – as in, the biggest saving and the closest proximity to the city centre – Bristol comes out top of the pile. Average rent on a 2-bed property in the city centre is £1,370 per month, while in nearby Totterdown, it’s £1,078 per month, meaning a monthly saving of £292, or a yearly saving of just over £3,500. And when we say nearby, it’s just over a mile between the two places, or a 20-minute walk.

Will you venture out of the city?

As you can see, there’s a lot of money to be saved from venturing out of the city centre to the suburbs, and ultimately it depends on what your priorities are when it comes to your property. While a lot of people like to be in the heart of the action, an increasing number have found that they’d rather have more space, especially after the national lockdowns, coupled with the fact their home is now doubling up as their workplace too.

Perhaps the biggest advantage for renters to move away from the city centre to the suburbs is the chance to build up their savings pot. If you’re hoping to become a homeowner one day, then the monthly saving you’ll make by moving to the suburbs can very quickly add up to a small deposit on a property. Even if you’re not concerned with buying a property in future, you can still save a few thousand pounds a year for little luxuries, such as holidays, or a new car!

We're your local property experts for the Warrington area, so call us on 01925 405400 or email to find out how we can help you rent your next property as a landlord or tenant.

*All data is taken from Zoopla. Correct at time of publication.