English and Welsh rents rise at fastest rate since May 2013

The latest buy to let index from Your Move and Reeds Rains confirms strength of residential rents which grew 3.1 per cent year on year

Following a report from Countrywide which put residential rents up 1.7 per cent year on year, research from Your Move and Reeds Rain has confirmed rents were up £23 this February compared to one year ago.

Boosting returns for buy to let investors, average residential rents in the UK were £766 per month in February as the yearly increase marked the fastest annual rise since May 2013.

The East of England recorded a 10.2 per cent annual rise – the strongest growth seen by any one region in more than five years – while this February also marked the first monthly increase in rents following a series of falls.

Rents increased 0.4 per cent (£3 in real terms) following drops of 0.6 per cent, 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent in January, December and November respectively.

Adrian Gill, Director of Reeds Rains and Your Move, believes that the rental sector is behind the property market’s strong performance at a time when “more homes are needed” but “supply simply isn’t there”.

He said that “landlords are catering to those who can’t afford to buy as well as those who choose renting for the flexibility it offers them” and as such are supporting numerous individuals.

Regional variation

While the East of England noted the largest annual increase in rents, taking £787 per month on average in February compared to £714 a year ago, London saw the second highest growth with average rents 4.9 per cent above those noted in February 2014.

The North West and North East were the only regions to see year on year rental decreases, down 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively, while the West Midlands and South West remained stable.

The South West saw a 1.7 per cent increase from January while Wales and the West Midlands saw rises of 1.2 per cent and 0.9 per cent.

The East reported a modest rise of 0.7 per cent – although February marked the area’s tenth consecutive rise to build a much stronger picture.

Four UK regions saw month on month decreases with Yorkshire, the North West, West Midlands and South East all dipping 0.4 per cent.

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