Mendip rental market challenges: Bridging the gap between earnings and living costs

By Laura Linham

25th Feb 2024 | Local News

In Mendip there are 109 properties currently available for rent
In Mendip there are 109 properties currently available for rent

The latest UK Rental Heatmaps have provided a detailed snapshot of the current rental market across the Mendip area of Somerset.

In Mendip there are 109 properties currently available for rent. The average asking rent stands at £1,300.

The breakdown of average rents by property type and number of bedrooms in Mendip reveals a broad spectrum of options for potential renters:

- 1-bedroom houses are going for an average of £835

- 2-bedroom properties stand at £1,048

- 3-bedroom homes have an average rent of £1,324

- 4-bedroom houses are averaging £1,899, and 5-bedroom properties are at £2,325, providing ample room for expansive living.

While the rental market is bustling with a variety of options for potential tenants, the reality of securing a rental property in Mendip becomes daunting when juxtaposed with the local earning trends.

In 2023, while the UK average salary was reported at £42.2k, Somerset's average salary lagged at £33,585 annually, or £17.22 per hour. This discrepancy is further exacerbated by the prevalence of part-time work, dragging the median wage across all employment types down to just £25,303 in Somerset, starkly lower than the averages in both the South West and across the UK.

The disparities in earnings present a significant hurdle in affording the average rents in Mendip. The situation is particularly challenging for households dependent on median or below-median incomes, highlighting a critical affordability gap within the local rental market. The issue is even more pronounced for female workers, who face a notable gender pay gap, earning a median full-time wage of £27,017 compared to their male counterparts' £32,074. This disparity, coupled with a higher tendency towards part-time employment among women, places additional financial burdens on female renters and their families.

In 2023 Average advertised rents were 6 percent higher than the previous year, and rents are expected to rise by around 5 per cent by the end of this year.

Rightmove's lettings expert Christian Balshen said: "Landlords have always prioritised finding a good, reliable tenant for their home alongside the reality of having to pay the mortgage each month.  Higher mortgage rates have had a knock-on effect for renters this year, as landlords who have faced these higher rates and therefore higher monthly costs, have needed, in some cases, to pass these on to tenants to some extent.

"Many tenants will have a cap on what they can or are prepared to pay in rent, and an increasing number of landlords are having to reduce their advertised rent, suggesting more are reaching this cap. It will be vital for landlords to work closely with a local letting agent this year, who will be an expert in the dynamics of their local area, to help them to find the right tenant at the right rent for their local area."


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