Charity Shelter said other basic needs can suffer a result of housing costs Large swathes of England are spending more than a third of their disposable income on rent, research has found.
There is still a clear North – South divide with Londoners facing the highest housing costs.
“Our chronic housing shortage means private renting is no longer a stepping stone for people starting out in life – it’s where a quarter of families have to live,” said Shelter chief executive Campbell Robb.
“With sky high rents eating up a huge chunk of people’s monthly income, it’s sadly no surprise that at Shelter we’re hearing from growing numbers of families who are struggling just to cover the cost of the basics, and keep a roof over their heads,” he added.
A BBC investigation discovered it is impossible to rent a one, two or three bed property within the recommended limits across the whole of London.
Based on the average rents and median weekly wages, it also found that a one-bedroom property in 24 boroughs and the City of London would cost more than half your disposable income.
The average monthly rent for a room in London is £607 a month, compared to £424 across the South East.
It is possible to rent a room in a house across the whole of the North West and the North East for under the 30 per cent take-home pay threshold, the research found.
The most affordable place to live is Copeland in Cumbria, home to Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing site, where wages are good but housing is low cost.
Henry Gregg, assistant director of communications and campaigns at the National Housing Federation told the BBC: “These figures provide yet more evidence of how seriously unaffordable renting is in this country. Sky-high rents mean unstable and uncertain living situations are becoming the norm.”
According to the latest global research, London has been usurped as the world’s most city expensive to live in.
Property broker Savills said voting the leave the EU had pushed the UK capital into third place, behind New York and Hong Kong respectively.
A Savills spokesperson said: “For the last two and a half years London has held top spot, reflecting the strength of its economy and high demand for space but the impact of currency falls post EU referendum has made London very much more competitive on the world stage.”
Meanwhile Edinburgh was found to be the most expensive city for students, according to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s student living index.
Portsmouth was the most cost-effective city, followed by Liverpool and Newcastle.
The study surveyed 2,500 students to find the most and least affordable places to study of 25 university cities considering factors like living and accommodation costs and average student incomes.