High rents 'make young people less mobile'

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionYoung people in Birmingham spoke to the BBC about their future plans

Rising rents mean young people are less likely to move to UK cities where average salaries are higher, a report indicates.

The number of young people in private rented accommodation who moved for a new job has almost halved in 20 years.

Despite the higher wages available, financial incentives for moving are lower, say researchers.

"Pay gains are being swallowed up by high housing costs," said Lindsay Judge of the Resolution Foundation.

"For young people in particular, there are real advantages to moving when it comes to trying new roles and developing skills - and housing should not be a barrier that prevents them doing this."

Although unemployment has fallen, the Resolution Foundation found that rents had climbed the fastest in higher-paying areas of the UK.

Private rents have risen by almost 90% in the UK's highest-paying local authority areas, while rents have increased by just over 70% among the lowest-paying local authority areas.

In 1997, after housing costs were deducted from salaries, private renters moving from a low-paying area such as East Devon to a mid-paying area such as Bristol would have received an average financial gain of about 16%.

Today, the financial gain would be a mere 1%.

Of course, millennials and the so-called "Generation Z" have other reasons for not moving apart from money.

Some people prefer to live near to their parents and friends, while others might find it harder to relocate because of their children.

'I won't move to London'

Paul Walker, 26, is an archaeologist living in Nottingham.

"Wages are no longer reflecting the true cost of living, even with the salary being scaled up for London," he told the BBC.

"There is no way I can pursue my profession anywhere but up North, if I also want to have any savings or a life outside of my job."

Mr Walker said that although commercial archaeological contractors across the UK offered more attractive salaries than academic institutions and private foundations, the salaries were not enticing enough to make him want to move down South.

"I'd be essentially taking home less money every month, meaning there is zero chance of me ever becoming a home owner," he added.

Where can you afford to live? Try our housing calculator to see where you could rent or buy

This interactive content requires an internet connection and a modern browser.

View affordability data by UK region

View affordability data by local authority area

Are you a young person who has been put off moving to a city for higher-paid work because of high rents? Share your experiences by emailing

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Or use the form below

Your contact details

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

The BBC's Privacy Policy

More on this story