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11Oct A ‘welcome relief’ for landlords as rents rise by 2.4% in August

A ‘welcome relief’ for landlords as rents rise by 2.4% in August

By Marc Da Silva

The rental market remains firm despite the various economic and political headwinds the sector has faced recently, the latest data shows.

Newly released figures from the HomeLet Rental Index, widely considered the most comprehensive data available on the UK’s private rental market, reveals that the average cost of a new tenancy in the private rental market in August hit £939 per calendar month, up 2.4% compared with the £916pcm recorded in the corresponding month last year.

According to HomeLet, rents continue to rise in almost every area of the country, with 11 out of the 12 regions surveyed recording an increase over the year to the end of August, with the South East the only region to see annual rents fall, down 0.2% year-on-year.

Rents are rising fastest in the South West of England, up 3.9% year-on-year, followed by Northern Ireland (3.7%).

However, rental values in London remain significantly higher than the rest of the UK, at an average of £1,609pcm – the first time rents in the capital have been above £1,600pcm.

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is £776; up 2.3% year-on-year.

Martin Totty, chief executive of Barbon Insurance  Group, HomeLet’s parent company, said: “Whilst we’ve often observed a seasonal uplift in average rents at this time of year, there’s evidence of a trend now emerging which points to a reversal of the declines seen over the early part of this year. This will be welcome relief to Landlords who have been battered by the perfect storm of tax changes and post-Brexit uncertainties. Whether the trend continues or represents only temporary relief from the headwinds faced by property owners, the remaining months of 2017 should provide the answer.”

“Many landlords still face further increases in their costs and so will need to find a new equilibrium between their legitimate required returns and affordability for tenants. It seems the elements in solving that particular equation become ever more complex.”

Rental figures from the August 2017 HomeLet Rental Index

Region Average rent in August 2017 Average rent in July 2017 Average rent in August 2016 Monthly variation Annual variation
West Midlands £693 £680 £670 1.9 % 3.3 %
East Midlands £617 £620 £597 -0.5 % 3.2 %
East of England £926 £919 £901 0.7 % 2.6 %
UK £939 £925 £916 1.5 % 2.4 %
UK excluding Greater London £776 £769 £759 0.9 % 2.3 %