Rent prices in England and Wales drop for first time in eight months

Landlords across England and Wales lowered their rent charges recently; representing the first time that rents have fallen on a monthly basis in as long as eight months.

Between October and November this year, average rent prices reduced by 0.2 per cent and stood at just £786 per month in November.

Landlords appear to be trying to avoid having vacant properties on their portfolios as we make our way through the colder months of the year and the findings come from the latest buy to let index put together by LSL.

Month versus year

Despite the recent monthly drop, rents have actually grown quicker than inflation on an annual basis.

In comparison with November 2013, this November’s rents were up 2 per cent in England and Wales which is an increase of 1 per cent in real terms.

Director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move David Newnes, shared his views on the findings by saying that not only are wages rising higher than they were a year ago while inflation rates are falling rapidly but rent rises are also cooling down.

He said that for those tenants still “reeling” after five years of financial pressure, a more affordable rental market is “another welcome boost”.

Mapping the rent drop trend

Out of the ten UK regions, five have experienced lower rents during November than they did in October; a trend led by the South East which saw a drop of 2.1 per cent.

This is followed by a 1.2 per cent drop in the North West – giving them the second highest rental drop – and then by the North East where rent prices are 0.6 per cent lower on average than they were in October.

One area which has gone against this general trend of rental reductions is the East Midlands where rents have actually grown. Between October and November this year they rose by 1.7 per cent – rising at a rate four times faster than those experienced in London and the East of England.

These areas only reported increases of 0.4 per cent month-to-month despite a strong history of consistent rental growth; particularly in the capital.

When looking at annual figures, three neighbouring regions stand out as being far above the overall average for rental prices.

In the East of England, rents have risen 6.7 per cent since November 2013, followed by 5.5 per cent increases in the East Midlands and 3.9 per cent growth in the West Midlands.

For more information about growth in the UK rental markets please see our recent article from Jeni.

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