Research last year found that up to a third of millennials will be renting for their entire lives. A more recent study found that many young people can no longer afford to live in cities where salaries are higher due to rising rents.
So now, more than ever, it pays to be super-clued up about how the property rental market operates.
Unsurprisingly, the latest research by flat-sharing website Ideal Flatmate has found that the average cost of renting a room in the UK has risen year-on-year. It now stands at just under £600.
Equally unsurprisingly, London remains the most expensive place to rent, with the average room in the capital now costing £783 a month.
However, rents in several big cities including Leeds, Bristol and Southampton have actually fallen in the second quarter of 2019, according to Ideal Flatmate's study of 29,000 room listings on its website.
Check out the top 15 most expensive cities to rent a room in, and their price change between the first and second quarter of 2019, in the list below.
1. London (£783 – up 5%)
2. Cambridge (£613 – up 9%)
3. Oxford (£588 – up 8%)
4. Glasgow (£588 – up 6%)
5. Edinburgh (£542 – up 3%)
6. Leeds (£522 – down 5%)
7. Bristol (£512 – down 4%)
8. Southampton (512 – down 6%)
9. Bournemouth (£500 – down 13%)
10. Manchester (£477 – up 3%)
11. Liverpool (£473 – up 8%)
12. Portsmouth (£465 – down 10%)
13. Leicester (£463 – up 5%)
14. Sheffield (£454 – up 6%)
15. Nottingham (£430 – up 4%)
Ideal Flatmate's co-founder Tom Gatzen partly attributed the rise in room to the government's new ban on tenant fees. Because landlords can no longer charge viewing fees, fees to set up a tenancy, or professional cleaning fees upon leaving a property, they've simply increased rents to make up the shortfall.
"While a positive step towards safeguarding tenants, its implementation has seen many landlords and letting agents opt to increase rents from June onwards which seems to have had a notable impact on rental costs in a short period of time," Gatzen said.
Gatzen also noted that "seasonal influences" can have a significant effect on room rents in some UK cities, explaining: "The highest demand for room rentals tends to come at the start of the year or the start of the summer and traditionally this brings a lull in demand during the second quarter of the year. As a result, we often see prices drop along with demand and this is generally most prominent in coastal and university towns."
So, if you're looking to rent a room in Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Southampton, the second quarter of the year is probably the best time to bag a decent deal.