Rental hikes are showing signs of slowing as new figures suggest only one in three new tenants can now afford to rent a home with a spare bedroom - the lowest level on record.
Extra space is now an unaffordable luxury for most renters with the average rental property in the UK costing £947 a month.
Opting for a spare room adds an average of £295 to monthly rental costs, according to the latest Countrywide Lettings Index.
In central London the average rental property costs £2,475 a month. Plus, a coveted spare room costs Londoners about £845.
Only a quarter of London renters are likely to have a spare room and it's a similar story across cities in the south of England, including Bristol (24 per cent), Oxford (28 per cent) and Cambridge (27 per cent), where an additional bedroom typically costs £450 a month on average.
It costs less than half this amount to rent an extra room (£188 on average) in cities further north such as Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool so tenants are nearly twice as likely to have a spare room.
Cooling rent increases
Rent hikes of 13 per cent since 2013 have heaped more pressure on tenants.
"Sacrificing extra bedrooms and sharing has helped renters to absorb higher prices," says Johnny Morris, Director of Research at Countrywide.
"But those living in the South are close to a point where there’s not much more room to squeeze, meaning rental growth is likely to be capped by tenants incomes for some time."
The cost of a new let rose just one per cent across Great Britain in the past year, and October was the first time in more than two years that the cost of renting a home didn’t rise faster than the rate of inflation.