How the rising cost of living is fuelling demand for the smallest flats in Manchester according to Zoopla

Competition is particularly fierce for one or two bed flats to rent in Manchester.

Renters are favouring smaller properties such as flats, which may be more affordable to run, as living costs rise, according to Zoopla.

The property portal has reported a spike in demand for smaller flats as people feel the cost-of-living squeeze, with fewer renters looking for two and three-bedroom houses.

And demand for smaller flats in Manchester has recently shot up by 15% they said.

The Zoopla report said: “We have seen a steady reduction in the proportion of renters looking for two and three-bed houses, and an increase in demand for one and two-bed flats over 2021 and 2022. This trend has been accelerating in recent weeks.”

It said the average rent has increased by £115 per month since last year, reaching £1,051 per calendar month – which is a third of the income of an average city worker.

Hannah Gretton, lettings director at property services provider LSL’s Your Move and Reeds Rains brands, said: “On average, we are seeing double figures of inquiries per property with a one-bedroom property in Manchester last week receiving over 100 requests to view, highlighting just how busy our branches are and the challenges renters face when it comes to finding an appropriate property.”

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City centre locations are particularly in demand for renters says Zoopla Credit: Marketing Manchester

Why do people want smaller flats?

Smaller properties may be cheaper to rent as well as less expensive to run in terms of energy costs.

New-build city-centre flats in particular are becoming increasingly appealing, Zoopla said. As well as potentially having energy efficiency advantages, they may also be located closer to where some renters work, helping them to save on transport costs.

Zoopla said the the strongest-performing urban rental markets are currently London (17.8%). Manchester (15.5%), Glasgow (14.4%) and Bristol (12.9%), where annual rental price growth is standing above the UK average of 12.3%.

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla said: “Rents have surged ahead over the last year but there are signs that the pace of growth is peaking and set to slow into 2023.

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“Renters are responding and looking for smaller, better value-for-money homes to rent with an eye on energy costs as much as rental levels.”

Last month, a Manchester Tiktok influencer went viral with her rant about the fierce competition for rental flats plus rising prices in the city.