8 affordable towns for renters across England

Renting can be expensive, especially in major cities. With getting on the property ladder becoming increasingly impossible, we have picked eight affordable towns for renters across England. These towns offer a lower cost of living than the major cities, while still having a strong economy and low unemployment rates. The percentage of the average monthly salary used to pay for rent is also relatively low, making them great places to experience life rather than just surviving and making a lazy landlord rich(er).

We’ve based our options on someone renting a two bedroom property, but the percentage of your salary taken by the layabout leech could vary, especially if you want to rent an upscale des res like a proper dandy or socialite. All figures are approximate-ish and are for May 2023. Want to know what our readers think about these towns? Just click the heading!

Hartlepool

Our pick for the North East and the most affordable town on our list is Hartlepool, located about 30 miles south of Newcastle.

How grim is your Postcode?
  • Population: around 90,000
  • 2-bed rent: £461pcm
  • Average salary: £2,500 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.8% (same as national average May 2023)
  • Salary taken for rent: 18.5% per month

Blackburn

Our pick for the North West is Blackburn about 30 miles north of Manchester.

  • Population: 100,000 ish
  • 2-bed rent: £650pcm
  • Average salary: £2,600 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.7%
  • Salary taken for rent: 25% per month

Doncaster

Our pick for Yorkshire is Doncaster (Don-eh) about 23 miles north-east of Sheffield.

  • Population: 300,000 people
  • 2-bed rent: £575pcm
  • Average salary: £2,700 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Salary taken for rent: 21% per month

Mansfield

Our pick for the East Midlands is Mansfield about 15 miles north of Nottingham.

  • Population: 90,000
  • 2-bed rent: £600pcm
  • Average salary: £2,800 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.5%
  • Salary taken for rent: 21% per month

Telford

Our pick for the West Midlands is Telford about 35 miles north-west of Birmingham.

  • Population: around 170,000
  • 2-bed rent: £650pcm
  • Average salary: £2,900 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.4%
  • Salary taken for rent: 22.5% per month

Luton

Our pick for the East of England is Luton even though it has been voted the worst place to live 2023 by our readers!

  • Population: around 200,000
  • 2-bed rent: £1050pcm
  • Average salary: £3,000 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.3%
  • Salary taken for rent: 35% per month

Crawley

Our pick for the South East is Crawley, about 20 miles south of London.

  • Population: around 120,000
  • 2-bed rent: £1400pcm
  • Average salary: £3,300 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.1% (the lowest on our list)
  • Salary taken for rent: 42% per month

So can you live anywhere near the hustle and bustle of central London and not spend your working life propping up the leisurely landed class, leveraging their wealth to take the shirt off your back and over half your monthly salary for rent? Maybe, just maybe!

Bexley

Our pick for Greater London is the borough of Bexley about 10 miles south-east of the city.

  • Population: around 250,000
  • 2-bed rent: £1400pcm
  • Average salary: £3,200 per month
  • Unemployment rate: 3.2%
  • Salary taken for rent: 44% per month

There you have it. If you are currently renting and thinking of moving to get a better standard of living, these towns maybe worth some further research.