RENTS in Bournemouth are rising faster than anywhere else in the south west.

Now leading charities have called for urgent investment in affordable social housing, to help people "struggling to keep up with the sky-high cost of private rents".

The median monthly rent for a property in Bournemouth was £775 in 2018-19, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

That was 24 per cent higher than during 2010-11, the earliest year with comparable data.

The median is a measure used to exclude extreme values which could skew the average.

People in the town are paying roughly £369 for a single room, £645 for one-bedroom, £825 for two bedrooms, £1,100 for three bedrooms and £1,688 for four bedrooms.

In Poole rental prices range between £475 and £1,325 and in Dorset, £412 to £1,300.

Rental prices across the South West as a whole rose by 22 per cent.

Rents across England also rose by 22 per cent over the same period, with the average now £700 a month, while average salaries increased by just 17 per cent.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said "decades of failure" to build social homes had left millions with little hope of escaping the financial hardship they face in the private rental market.

She said: "Despite working all the hours they can, millions of people are struggling to keep up with the sky-high cost of private rents.

"Recent efforts to improve renters’ rights by banning costly letting fees and committing to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions are very welcome, but private renting is not always the right place for struggling families to live.

"Ultimately, the only way to solve the housing emergency is for the government to commit to building at least 90,000 genuinely affordable social homes a year over the course of this parliament."

Across England, women would have to pay 38 per cent of their salary on average to live alone, compared to 24 per cent for men.

Shelter defines housing as unaffordable if it takes up more than 30 per cent of a household's income.

The biggest rent increase in Bournemouth has been for homes with four or more bedrooms, followed by studio apartments.