Leicester is UK rental hotspot, claims HomeLet

Leicester is the UK’s rental hotspot according to the latest figures from HomeLet which show rental growth of 45 per cent across the past 12 months

The East Midlands city saw average rents increase from £421 to £611 to provide a boost to returns for buy to let landlords and investors.

HomeLet also revealed that Southall and Cambridge experienced similar levels of rapid growth; their rents increased by 38 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Gloucester and Chelmsford completed the top five cities for rental increases with rates going up 22 per cent and 19 per cent while other cities have also experienced strong rental growth over the past 12 months including Swindon, London and Telford – recording growth of between ten and 18 per cent.

By comparison, Ilford and Harrow saw rents increase by nine per cent in the past year to complete the nation’s top ten areas for rental growth.

A full rental picture for the UK

Elsewhere in the country noted considerable drops in average rents with a 24 per cent fall in Colchester the highest recorded.

That meant rents fell from £708 to £539, while Croydon and Brighton saw similar drops in rent of 23 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

Other areas to notice a fall included Romford and Manchester where rents came down by 12 per cent and seven per cent.

Cardiff, Belfast, Huddersfield, Lincoln and Leeds completed the bottom ten destinations that noted the largest rental decreases in the past 12 months.

A year for growth

Commenting on the data, Martin Totty, Chief Executive of HomeLet’s parent company the Barbon Insurance Group, explained that “2014 was predominantly a year for growth in the rental market” as prices were higher than the year before by an average of 6.6 per cent. However, the data also points to some big differences in rental market performance in 2014 from town to town and city to city. The causative factor behind these differences is as simple as supply and demand,” he said.

Despite noting the largest rental increases in the UK over the past year, Leicester’s average rents of £611 is still some way below the national average of £867 –as recorded by HomeLet in December – and prospective landlords should take this into consideration if expanding their portfolios.

The highest average rents remain in Greater London and cost £1,393 per month.

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