County one of region's cheapest places to rent
Shropshire is one of the cheapest places in the West Midlands to rent a house, according to new government figures.
The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom property in Telford & Wrekin is £550, and £535 in the rest of Shropshire.
This compares to £585 in Herefordshire, £595 in South Staffordshire, and £695 in Birmingham.
In Dudley the average two-bed property costs £530 a month, and in Wolverhampton and Walsall it is £525. However Walsall is considerably cheaper at £495.
The figures, for the year up to March 2018, show that rents in Telford & Wrekin have been fairly static over the past three years, rising by less than 1.5 per cent since 2015 when the average was £542. In the rest of Shropshire rents increased by 4.3 per cent, from £513 in 2015.
Average monthly rents for one bedroom properties are £450 in Telford & Wrekin, and £425 for the rest of the county. For three-bed properties the rents are £650 a month in both Telford & Wrekin and the Shropshire Council area, still among the cheapest in the West Midlands but more than in neighbouring Wolverhampton, Dudley or Walsall.
Nick Davenport, of Highfields letting agency in Bridgnorth, says Shropshire is generally a good place to rent offering lots of choice at reasonable prices.
He said the rents tended to be slightly higher in Telford than the rest of Shropshire, although Bridgnorth was also popular.
"The rental market is pretty good in Shropshire, the rental prices aren't too high," he said.
"There's lots of work around Shropshire in the industrial areas, as opposed to some of the more rural parts.
"There's more jobs in Telford than in the areas to the north and south, the rents can go up to £575 in some of the better areas, like Shawbirch and Priorslee for the newer properties with uPVC double glazing.
"South Shropshire is a nicer area to live in, but there aren't as many jobs around there, and you will have to travel further for work."
Mr Davenport said Bridgnorth was in demand as it was a convenient location for commuters, but prices tended to be higher because there weren't as many properties as in Telford.
"To buy a three-bed semi in Bridgnorth, it will cost £180,000 to £190,000, whereas in Telford it is £140,000 to £150,000," he said.
"It's more expensive to rent in Bridgnorth because the properties are more expensive to begin with."
He said ex-council houses were beginning to command stronger rents because they tended to be more spacious than other properties.