Home buying more cost-effective than renting in 60% of cities, says website

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Buying a home is more cost-effective than renting in nearly two-thirds of major cities across Britain, research from a property website suggests.

Zoopla compared the average monthly rents being asked for a two-bedroom home across 50 cities with the cost of paying a mortgage on a similar-sized property with a 10% deposit - the size of deposit often put down by first-time buyers.

It found that in 60% of cities, buying a home was more cost-effective than renting one. The proportion has increased since April, when buying was more cost-effective than renting in 48% of cities.

Home owners in Glasgow fare particularly well compared with renters there, the research suggests. Mortgage payers in Glasgow may find themselves parting with an average of £450 per month, while renters there fork out an average of £596 - a difference of £146.

Owning a home in Birmingham and Bradford rather than renting one was also found to be particularly cost-effective.

But in southern England, where house prices can be particularly high, renting often works out cheaper. London was found to be the city where renting was particularly likely to beat buying, in terms of the monthly costs, followed by Cambridge and Bournemouth.

In London, renting can work out £1,118 cheaper per month than having a mortgage, while in Cambridge the cost difference per month can work out at £549.

The research assumed that a mortgage holder would be on a 25-year repayment deal with a fixed interest rate of 4.5% to make the findings.

Zoopla also analysed the current asking prices and rents of two-bedroom properties currently on the market across Britain's 50 biggest cities for the research.

Lawrence Hall, a spokesman for Zoopla, said: "Buying a property is a costly process, but once you get past the initial fees, it can - as our data shows - prove a more economical option on a monthly basis.

"Although large parts of Britain remain unaffordable for those looking to take their first steps on to or another step up the property ladder, these latest figures tell an encouraging story.

"Whereas back in April it was cheaper to service a monthly mortgage than pay a rental fee in just under half of Britain's biggest cities, buyers are now offered better value in nearly two-thirds of these locations."

Here are the top 10 cities where buying beats renting, according to Zoopla, with the average monthly rent followed by the monthly mortgage payment based on someone having a 10% deposit, and the rental premium in percentage terms. The percentage premium has been calculated by Zoopla as the percentage difference between median monthly rent and the average monthly mortgage repayment. Percentages have been rounded:

1. Glasgow, £596, £450, 28%

2. Birmingham, £826, £650, 24%

3. Bradford, £500, £397, 23%

4. Coventry, £804, £650, 21%

5. Nottingham, £696, £575, 19%

6. Dundee, £526, £448, 16%

7. Barnsley, £452, £400, 12%

8. Middlesbrough, £500, £443, 12%

9. Leeds, £704, £625, 12%

10. Peterborough, £696, £625, 11%

And here are the top 10 cities where renting beats buying, according to Zoopla, with the average monthly rent followed by the monthly mortgage repayment based on someone having a 10% deposit, and the buying premium in percentage terms: 

1. London, £2,009, £3,127, 44%

2. Cambridge, £1,152, £1,701, 38%

3. Bournemouth, £852, £1,126, 28%

4. Aberdeen, £726, £925, 24%

5. Brighton, £1,218, £1,501, 21%

6. Reading, £1,104, £1,351, 20%

7. Bedford, £804, £975, 19%

8. Liverpool, £626, £750, 18%

9. Colchester, £752, £850, 12%

10. Southampton, £804, £900, 11%