Where is the cheapest place to find a 3 bedroom house to rent?

As the turbulence in our property market continues, many people are renting a house while saving to buy a home in the right location for them.

So, with rents soaring due to the high demand from tenants, we look at where you can find the cheapest 3 bedroom houses to rent.

According to a new study by CIA Landlords which has analysed rental prices across the UK, the north of the country offers the best value.

While this may not come as a surprise, the difference in rent is striking – so, if you are open to living in the north, let’s take a closer look at why you might think about renting a house there.

Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire tops the ranking table below, with Hull in Yorkshire in second place and Sunderland, Tyne & Wear in the northeast, taking third place.

RankLocationAverage monthly rent for 3 bedroom houses
1Stoke-on-Trent£842.56
2Hull£862.27
3Sunderland£968.04
4Bradford£982.75
5Derby£1069.51
Places with the lowest rents for a 3 bedroom house.

Let’s look at why you might rent a 3 bed house in these cities  

Stoke-on-Trent

This family-friendly town is centrally situated in the UK, with easy access to Newcastle-under-Lyme, Alsager, and Kidsgrove. It’s known for its pottery industry, has a wide range of property type, and over 80 primary schools. Its economy is based on service industries and distribution centres. Estate agents report that house prices are markedly lower than in many other parts of the country, keeping rents low.

House prices and rents in Stoke-on-Trent are below the UK average.

The average monthly rent for a 3 bedroom house here is over £4,000 cheaper than the cost of renting a similar sized property in London, which stands at £5,078. Estate agents are currently marketing a 3 bedroom semi-detached house with two reception rooms at East Grove, Stoke-on-Trent, for rent at £750 per month. Properties matching the same criteria have a minimum price of around £625 per month, rising to £895.

Hull

A major seaport on the Humber estuary, Hull has seven miles of modern docks with jobs provided by port-based industries and the North Sea oil and gas extraction industry. It has an old town, a marina, and the World Trade Centre Hull & Humber, which provides many jobs. Local amenities include theatres and museums.

Relevant properties to rent with estate agents in Hull include a semi-detached 3 bed house on Clough Road, priced at £650 per month and close to local amenities. Other semi-detached houses to rent with 3 beds vary in price between £650-£795 per month.

Hull city centre.

Sunderland

Sunderland is a vibrant city that might appeal to beach lovers as it’s home to Roker and Seaburn beaches. There is easy access to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Durham, and jobs are provided in the car industry, software, and IT industries. A wave of investment is planned by 2030, creating thousands of new jobs.

The minimum price for 3 bedroom houses to rent here is around £640 per month; estate agents are currently marketing a semi-detached house with 3 beds on Thorney Close at £675 per month, while a semi-detached house at Tunstall is priced at £995 per month and a terraced house in Barnes at £795.

An aerial view of Sunderland.

Bradford

Bradford is surrounded by Yorkshire countryside yet only nine miles from Leeds. It has a rich history and culture, 44 parks, is vibrant and multi-cultural, and has one of the UK’s youngest populations along with a wide range of property type. Bradford has the 10th largest city economy in England; the largest industry is health, followed by manufacturing, education, engineering, chemicals, and automotive components. Rents for a house with 3 bedrooms start at £500 per month, according to estate agents.

Derby

Centrally located Derby is close to the Peak District National Park and in easy reach of Manchester and Birmingham. The biggest employers are Rolls-Royce and Toyota. There’s a flourishing cultural scene, and the old city in the Cathedral Quarter and St Peter’s Quarter mixes with new retail areas. Houses to rent with 3 beds start at £520 per month for both terraced and semi-detached properties.

A landlord’s perspective – rent a whole house or individual rooms?

Renting out individual rooms can often be more profitable than renting an entire house under one tenancy. A study comparing renting a room versus renting a house reveals which cities and rental strategies can provide the best value for both landlords and tenants.

Again, northern cities proved to be the best places for a landlord to achieve the highest returns from adopting this model.

The study found Hull to be the most profitable location from a landlord’s point of view, with the average monthly cost of renting an entire 3 bedroom house working out at £287 per room. In contrast, the average cost of renting a single room is over £400 more expensive (£697 per month). Landlords therefore could earn up to £1,230 more per month by renting rooms individually, adding up to an extra £14,700 per year.

The second most profitable place is Sunderland, where landlords can earn an additional £9,612 per year by renting rooms individually. In Nottingham, potential earnings from this strategy are £7,740 per year.

This table shows the top 10 cities where landlords can make the most profit from renting rooms out individually:

RankCityAverage rent for a single roomAverage rent for 3 bedroom houses – per roomDifference in £Difference in %
1Hull£696.50£287.42£409.08242.33%
2Sunderland£589.89£322.68£267.21182.81%
3Nottingham£580.97£365.80£215.17158.82%
4Stoke-on-Trent£463.27£280.85£182.42164.95%
5Derby£526.41£356.50£169.91147.66%
6Bradford£459.26£327.58£131.68140.20%
7Sheffield£529.08£399.45£129.63132.45%
8Birmingham£537.38£408.24£129.15131.64%
9Leicester£528.71£400.39£128.31132.05%
10Coventry£521.68£397.33£124.34131.29%

London landlords

Landlords in the capital, however, are better off renting out a complete house rather than individual rooms. The average monthly cost of renting out a 3 bed house in London is £1,693 per room, whereas the average cost of renting a single room in a house is £972 per month. So, landlords could earn on average an extra £2,163 per month by letting the whole house. Apart from London, the only cities where this approach is the most profitable are Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Manchester.

Summing up

From a tenant’s viewpoint, heading north is clearly the place to find cheaper 3 bedroom houses to rent, and northern cities have a lot to offer in terms of quality of life. Signing up for a cost-effective rental may be a good way of giving you breathing space to save and see what the property market is going to do next.

Landlords who rent out a 3 bedroom house may consider rethinking their rental strategy given the current demand from tenants. Renting out rooms separately can certainly bring in more income but bear in mind that this system will involve a lot more of your time – or you will need to pay someone to manage tenants for you. There is also specific legislation to comply with which you will need to allow for.

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