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The best cities for renters

For many people throughout the world, renting is the most affordable way to gain independence and live in their city of choice. But there are several things that you need to consider before deciding on your property.

We explore the best capital cities to rent in, based on average rental prices, salaries, green spaces and more.

If you’re planning to make the move, don’t forget to add contents insurance to your to-do list.

An image of to let signs outside a row of terraced houses

 

The top 30 best cities for renters

We’ve done the maths so that you can do the renting. We analysed 48 cities from the Global Power City Index, which ranks major cities based on their power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world.

We then created an index including additional factors such as average rental prices, salaries, rental increases, economy, happiness, green space, cultural interaction and more.

We used this to determine the most renter friendly cities around the world. The cities were ranked on several factors between 1 and 48. The total rank is the average of the cities percent rank for each metric.

Table showing a range of capital cities ranked on a variety of measures

 

The 10 most renter friendly cities

Choosing where to live isn’t the easiest decision. So we’ve taken a deep dive to determine the most renter friendly cities.

This takes into consideration things such as average rent price, salary, number of parks, career opportunities and expected population increase by 2030.

Here are the top 10 most renter friendly cities.

Infographic showing the top 10 capital cities to rent in

 

1. London, United Kingdom

An image of London’s skyline

London comes out on top for renters. The UK capital is a world famous tourist destination, and also has plenty of great reasons to live there.

The average monthly salary is £2,637, but that’s not what puts it at the top of the table. The city’s numerous parks and plenty to do for our four-legged friends play a large role in this. There are 296 parks in total, and 416 dog-friendly restaurants that feed both you and your furry companion.

London is often known as one of the most expensive places to live with average rental prices of £2,456. Despite the high rent prices, the capital city ranks highly on the index for economy and cultural interaction. London also does well for gender equality, earning an index score of 14 out of 48 based on career opportunities, pay scale and more.

If you’re thinking of making the move, you’re not alone. The city is predicted to experience a 103% population increase by 2030.

2. Berlin, Germany

View across Berlin

If you want to rent in Berlin, the average rent is £1,619 and you should earn enough to cover that per month. With the monthly salary coming in at around £3,676.

The German capital is also aiming to be carbon neutral 5 years earlier than our other top 10 entries, with a target date of 2045. It achieves a higher score than London for gender equality (ranking 6/48) while it ranks 7/10 for happiness.

3. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Canal in Amsterdam

The Dutch capital offers its workers an average monthly salary of £2,873, but charges them an average of £2,027 to live there. There are also 89 dog-friendly restaurants in the city, and 59 parks, putting the city in third position.

All in all, it is a happy city, scoring 5/48, while internet speeds of 102.6Mbps give people there an easy way to stay connected.

4. Madrid, Spain

An image of Madrid’s skyline

Madrid offers the cheapest average rent out of all our top 10 cities, at £1,338. It also pays relatively well, with workers taking home around £2,837 a month. If you have a dog, Madrid is a great choice, offering 317 dog-friendly restaurants to dine out in, and 72 parks for their daily walks.

Additionally, Madrid’s internet speeds are higher than any of the 3 cities above it, at a speedy 134.19Mbps.

5. Singapore, Singapore

Singapore skyline

Singapore offers workers an average salary of £2,682 a month. However, rental prices sit around the £4,469 mark, meaning only the highest earners can afford to stay there.

For those who can afford the accommodation, they get incredibly fast internet speeds of 192Mbps. Competition for housing is expected to increase by 2030, with a predicted population rise of 105%.

 

The cheapest capitals to rent in

An image of Tokyo’s skyline

The price of rent can be a huge factor in deciding where to live. Having cheap rent means you have more to spend on what the city has to offer. The following capital cities offer the most affordable rent.

1. Tokyo, Japan - £1,026 a month

Tokyo is a fantastic capital city, packed with lights, colour and people. People there earn an average of £2,627 a month - more than double the price of their average rent of £1,026.

2. Paris, France - £1,300 a month

Ah, the city of love. We’re sure you’ll fall head over heels for Paris’s rent prices, which average at £1,300 a month. With salaries around £3,383 a month, that rent is more than affordable.

3. Madrid, Spain - £1,338 a month

Madrid is another city that should pay you more than enough to afford to live there. Workers in the city can expect to take home £2,837 a month, with an average rent of £1,338.

4. Copenhagen, Denmark - £1,503 a month

In a city full of culture, Copenhagen’s monthly rent is around £1,503. You can also expect to earn well there, since the average monthly salary is £4,002, making the city a good option for living and working.

5. Berlin, Germany - £1,619 a month

Completing our top 5 is the German capital of Berlin. While the monthly rent is getting a little steeper, with average salaries of £3,676 a month, it’s still affordable. You should have plenty left over to enjoy all the city has to offer.

 

The best cities to earn the most money in

An image of Zurich's skyline

When many people move to a new city, they’re moving to work. The following cities are the places where you could earn the most money.

1. Zurich, Switzerland - £7,029 a month

The Swiss capital of Zurich pays its workers a hefty average salary of £7,029 a month. It’s home to business giants like IKEA, Carlsberg and Unilever, and attracts many talented employees thanks to its generous wages and moderate taxes.

2. New York, USA - £4,397 a month

The city so good they named it twice also pays you twice as much as some other places. New York’s average wage is £4,397 a month, in no small part thanks to the big businesses based there. There are huge financial institutions within New York, each offering top dollar to attract their staff.

3. Copenhagen, Denmark - £4,003

Copenhagen is home to big business in life sciences, food, smart technology and finances. It’s also the capital of the country where LEGO was founded, and if ever there’s a reason to move, we think that’s it. Copenhagen pays an average salary of £4,003 a month, more than enough to build a life with.

Our study has found that Copenhagen consistently ranks within the top 5 for many factors, making it one of the more renter friendly cities.

4. Berlin, Germany - £3,676

Home to powerhouses like Volkswagen, Allianz and BMW, the German capital pays well to those looking to work there. The city pays an average salary of £3,676 a month, bringing many people to Berlin to reap the benefits and to enjoy the bustling nightlife. Similar to Copenhagen, Berlin also ranks within the top 5 for many of our renter friendly index factors.

5. Paris, France - £3,383

The city of love also happens to be a city of great earning potential, with an average monthly salary of £3,383. The city has all sorts of industries, but is especially great for luxury fashion. To work for names like Louis Vuitton or Chanel, Paris is the place to be.

 

The capital cities with the best economy

New York skyline

We’ve ranked each city on how they perform in the economy, based on things like their GDP growth rate, economic freedom, and stock market capitalisation.

1. New York, USA

New York’s economy is thriving, with its huge tourism industry adding to the businesses that boost the area. In 2019, tourism added $19.3 billion to New York’s economy.

2. London, UK

London is a hub of tourism, businesses, food and activity. Home to iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and the Tower of London, it’s also home to big businesses and bustling startups.

3. Beijing, China

With businesses like electronics, automobiles, finance and textiles calling Beijing home, it’s no surprise to see their economy faring so well. It creates goods that are in demand throughout the world, with almost all of us having technology in our homes that started in the Chinese capital.

 

The happiest cities to live in

View of Helsinki cathedral

Something we all want from our homes is happiness. We’ve ranked the capitals based on a 2020 survey to see just how much smiling you could be doing in your new home.

1. Helsinki, FInland

People in Finland’s capital are happier than anywhere else in the world, according to our research. Finland is a beautiful country, and also offers free education, free healthcare, great gender equality and clean nature to keep its citizens smiling.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark has a fantastic community spirit, and prides itself on its social equality. Copenhagen leads the way, taking care of social welfare and environmental issues to propel it to second place in our table.

3. Zurich, Switzerland

When you combine natural beauty and chocolate, it makes sense that Zurich is so happy. The birthplace of the world’s favourite sweet treat, Switzerland is also home to incredible nature, stunning mountains and sensational skiing. Plenty to feel good about.

 

The most livable capitals

An image of a street in Madrid

Livability is based on unemployment rates, work/life balance, crime rates and more. It gives you a good idea of what a place is like to rent in, and whether it’s worth making the move.

1. Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital benefits from great weather all year round, as well as a laid back way of life and truly excellent food. There are lots of things to enjoy about living in Madrid, and we’re sure you’ll be tanned and happy in no time.

2. Paris, France

Paris is known for being a safe city to live in. Crimes there are low, especially violent ones, leaving you feeling comfortable to walk around. It’s also a city full of food and history. Très bien all around.

3. Barcelona, Spain

There must be something in the Spanish water, as Barcelona is the second Spanish city to make our livability top 3. While Madrid is the nation’s capital, Barcelona is the capital of its Catalonia region, and is bursting with beautiful architecture and more fantastic weather.

 

The best cities for cultural interaction

An image of the Houses of Parliament in London

When you live somewhere, it really starts to feel like home when you get involved in the community. We’ve ranked this metric on things like museums, sports stadiums, local events and hotels to reveal the cities with the best community spirit.

1. London, UK

London has museums on almost every corner, and that’s just the tip of its cultural iceberg. The capital’s history is beautifully preserved, while there are thousands of events, gigs and live acts taking place every day. You’ll never be stuck for something to do in London.

2. Paris, France

Another thriving capital is Paris. Home to some of the world’s most famous art galleries, including the Louvre, it’s known across the globe for its incredible culture. It’s got its fair share of restaurants and cafes, making it a fantastic city to call your home.

3. New York, USA

Potentially the busiest community of them all, New York is made up of thousands of suburbs and streets that form a bustling metropolis. From Broadway to The Statue of Liberty, there are countless things to see and do in the city that never sleeps.

 

The cities with the best gender equality

An image of Helsinki’s public transport with the Helsinki Cathedral in the background

All genders deserve to be treated equally and paid fairly for the work they do. Some cities do this better than others.

We’ve ranked them based on the number of jobs shared by different genders, as well as how much those roles pay.

1. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki prides itself on gender equality, in fact it’s a pioneer in the area. It was the first European country to give women the right to vote back in 1906, and offers parental leave for all parents.

Gender discrimination is a crime in the country, and any company that employees more than 30 people is required to create an equality plan.

2. Stockholm, Sweden

Nearly half of Sweden’s current government is made up of women, including its Prime Minister. Just like Finland, it is illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their gender. Anyone who does will be reported to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman.

3. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin has put lots of effort into promoting diversity in the workplace, empowering companies to promote more women into higher positions. It also invests in lots of gender research, understanding the reasons behind discrimination and working to overcome them.

 

The cities with the most green space

An image of Tokyo’s skyline

Having lots of green space around you isn’t only good for the environment, it can also be good for your mental health. Spending time outside helps you destress after a busy day, while also providing great exercise.

1. Tokyo, Japan - 668 parks

When you think of Tokyo, you might think of a big city full of skyscrapers. And while that’s partly true, it’s also surrounded by parks: 668 of them in total. Tokyo’s parks are some of the most beautiful in the world. Just a quick search on Instagram will see your screen filled with blossom and unbeatable views across the city.

2. London, UK - 296 parks

London is another city with parks on the doorstep of urban areas. Step out of the hustle and bustle and you’ll find parks steeped in history, such as Victoria Park, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. They’re all great places to get away from the concrete streets and relax into nature.

3. Paris, France - 287 parks

If you’re looking for romance in Paris, you could well find it in one of its many parks. Many of them have been landscaped, making them ideal for walking around and soaking up the atmosphere.

No matter when you head to the city, you’re sure to find a stunning site in any season.

Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, comments:

“Renting in the right city can mean more than just a nice place to live. There are many different factors to consider when moving including the cost of rent and how this compares to how much you earn, cultural interaction, happiness and green space.

"But on top of this, you should certainly be looking at how much your bills could cost, in particular, your home insurance. Cities with lower crime rates may see the insurance costs for your property, contents and car all come down, as well as making you feel safer.

“It’s always worth doing your research before you make your move. Once you’ve made your decision, be sure to sort out your contents insurance. While this might seem like a small thing, it can make a big difference in keeping your home and valuables protected.”

 

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