Rents reach new record levels

Rents increased to new all-time record levels in September, according to the latest figures from the UK’s largest lettings agent networks, Your Move and Reeds Rains.

The latest Buy to Let Index for September shows average rents across England and Wales to standing at £768 a month, £10 higher than a year previously.

September’s average monthly rents were 0.8 per cent higher than in August, a rise of £7 in real terms, yet annual growth has slowed.

August saw rents 2.4 per cent higher than a year before, but this fell to 1.5 per cent for the 12 months ending in September 2014.

“Historically rent rises have broadly tracked inflation,” explained David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move.

“And as the wider cost of living grows ever more slowly, so too has the cost of renting a home.”

He added that it is likely that rents in most parts of the UK have now reached their seasonal peak and that research suggests landlords are expecting slower growth rates in the coming 12 months.

“Another critical development in the rental market is the resurgence of demand in regions outside of London and the South East,” he added.

He pointed to regions where strong economic growth has been noted, particularly the North West and East of England, where rental increases on an annual basis mirror those seen in London.

Rents in five of ten regions increased on an annual basis across England and Wales, with the East of England seeing the fastest increase – with rents up 3.1 per cent annually.

The South West and London also saw strong annual growth, with rises of 2.3 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively since September a year ago.

Some regions did experience a drop in rents on an annual basis, with the West Midlands down 2.4 per cent compared to a year ago, while the North East also saw a drop of 2.3 per cent annually.

However, not a single one of the ten regions saw rents fall on a monthly basis, with the highest month-on-month increase noted in the South East, with rents up 1.8 per cent compared to August. 

The North West and North East also saw notable monthly rises, up by 1.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively.

Yorkshire and the Humber saw no change between August and September, while the slowest monthly increase occurred in the East Midlands where rents were up by 0.4 per cent.

London and the West Midlands saw slightly higher increases, with rents up 0.5 per cent in these two regions month-on-month.