Rent comparison – how do values in town and country differ?

Published: 16/11/2022 By Musgrove & Co

As a landlord, one of your number one goals is getting the best possible rent (while keeping it fair and in line with local market rates) for your rental properties.

But are you better served with a city or town property or something in the countryside? Both locations have their pros and cons, but which performs better in terms of rental values?

Below, we take a closer look.

What are the differences?

For the benefits of this blog, and the areas we cover, we’re going to look at the differences between North Walsham – the charming market town we operate in – and the surrounding countryside.

According to, the current average rent in North Walsham is just over £1,200pcm, with houses by far the most popular type of home to rent.

This is compared to average rents in Norfolk as a whole, which includes some of the UK’s finest countryside and a range of quaint, quintessential villages, of £1,133pcm.

In the cathedral city of Norwich, Norfolk’s county town and comfortably its biggest metropolis, the average rent stands at £1,197pcm.

On the whole, there isn’t much difference in rents – when it comes to town and country – in the county of Norfolk, but demand will naturally be higher in busier towns and cities.

Has there been a shift?

Some research in recent years has suggested higher growth in suburban and rural rental values compared to a much lower rise in urban areas.

Findings from Rightmove released last year found that increased demand from tenants to live further away from cities – a direct consequence of the pandemic - had led to asking rents in suburban and rural areas jumping by 11% since before Covid began, in comparison to just 2% in urban areas.

It also found that a fall of 45% in available homes to rent in suburban areas and a 61% drop in rural locations had caused more competition among tenants for homes, which in turn had shifted prices up.

What’s more, Rightmove’s research revealed that demand for each available property was up 155% compared with pre-pandemic levels in suburban areas, and up 224% in rural locations.

However, this research spanned from February 2020 to August 2021 – pretty much the main time period for the pandemic, when people’s priorities and living locations changed – and in the time since there has been a bounce-back to city living as society has fully reopened.

The country rental market was given a boost by the pandemic and the race for space/desire to escape the hustle and bustle, but post-pandemic rental homes in urban areas have surged in popularity once more.

Is a town investment a safe bet?

Cities and towns undoubtedly took a hit during the worst days of the pandemic, when all that is great about town and city living was stripped away almost overnight and took a long time to return in full.

However, the demand for city and town living has bounced back in a big way now that everything is open again – and life feels relatively normal post-Covid. Towns, as you would expect, have much larger rental markets in general, and more demand for rental homes. This means you have more chance of filling your home with ease and generating strong rental income and yields.

There may be higher initial buy-in costs for town properties, which can affect long-term yields, but the chances of void periods are low as demand stays high all year round.

Here at Musgrove & Co, we are an independent estate agent providing local market expertise in Norfolk. Our goal is to offer a seamless property buying or selling journey, while adding value wherever we can. For more information, please contact us today at either or Norwich or North Walsham office.

We also offer an instant valuation tool to give you an estimate of how much your home could be worth on the current market.