Renters are flocking to Essex for cheap rents and accessibility to London, according to a new index from the property search website, Rightmove.
A study which measured email enquiries, searches and property views on the site, showed that six of the top ten rental hospots outside London were in Essex, home to the hit TV show, The Only Way is Essex (Towie.)
While Stevenage in Hertfordshire was the most popular individual town for renters, the Essex boltholes of Wickford, Basildon, Grays, Chelmsford and Braintree all featured in the top ten, along with Darford in Kent, Bristol and Wellingborough in Northamptonshire.
The top five areas have all seen asking rents increase by more than 10pc over the last 12 months to the end of Q2 2015 compared to the UK average of 4.4pc.
The commuter town of Stevenage in Hertfordshire was the most sought after area by tenants sending monthly rents up by 11.3pc from £748 to £833 over the same period.
Rents in Southend increased by 11.1pc from £705 to £783 and in Dartford from £815 to £915 – a £100 jump in just a year.
Sam Mitchell, head of lettings at Rightmove, said: “Demand for quality rental properties is at a record high, and the most sought after areas such as Stevenage and places in Essex are all within easy commuting distance of the capital. All of these hotspots benefit from an average asking rent of under £1,000 per month compared to the Greater London average of over double that.”
The UK’s largest property search website, Rightmove, also reported a 76pc increase in rental email enquiries sent from prospective tenants to lettings agents in the 12 months to the end of March.
This spike in interest comes as house price-to-income ratios stretch to near pre-crisis levels, according to a report from the leading consultancy, Fathom.
A report, issued by the firm yesterday, said: “We anticipate further tinkering with housing demand ahead, together with a less aggressive monetary stance than would have occurred under a Labour government [referring to a prolonged period of low interest rates.] The Chancellor’s decision yesterday to enshrine an overall budget surplus in law will give the MPC further justification for sitting on its hands.”
Researcher, Oliver Jones said: “The much needed housing market correction has been postponed again. By the end of next year, the house-price-to-income ratio is likely to have returned to its pre-crisis peak.”
The most in demand areas for each regions around Great Britain included Pudsey in Yorkshire and the Humber, Tamworth in the West Midlands and Manchester in the North West. Despite increased demand, as more people researched moving house, rents in Colwyn Bay and Pudsey fell.