North Somerset is top for affordable rents

RENT rates in North Somerset are among the most affordable in the South West, according to a recent survey.

The national homeless charity, Shelter, carried out research into private rent rates across the region and found those in North Somerset were the most affordable, along with rates in the Forest of Dean.

Letting agents say these results are positive for North Somerset.

Woods Estate Agents’ partner in charge of lettings, Olivia Donaghy said: “This is very positive for the area.

“I am not sure there is any specific reason why the rates are lower but North Somerset is a good catchment area for people who want to move out of the city.

“Traditional flat dwellers in Bristol are moving just that bit further away for a different quality of life.

“What we are also seeing in North Somerset is an increase in accidental land lords - people who are having trouble selling their property who then decide to put it up for rent.

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“It may be that their expectations on rent are not so high as your traditional buy-to-let landlord.”

Cathy Provenzano, lettings director for Heritage estate agency, said: “If you compare North Somerset to central Bristol, it definitely is more affordable.

“We are letting properties like hot cakes at the moment. There is a lot of competition for them as well.

“Rents aren’t going down like they were a few years ago - they are holding their own and may even start to go up over the next few months.”

Shelter’s survey discovered the most unaffordable rent rates in the South West were in Exeter, Poole, Bournemouth, Torbay and then Bath and North East Somerset.

When carrying out the research, Shelter surveyed the number of households that spent more than 35 per cent of their take-home pay on rent, which was set as the affordability threshold.

* In contrast to the positive rent rates in North Somerset, Shelter England’s website has revealed homes in the district are now priced at seven times the average person’s income.

The site shows last year’s average house price tag stood at �175,000 - making them hard to afford for would-be buyers in North Somerset on an average annual income of �27,564.