Rental growth at slowest pace in three years

Rental growth at slowest pace in three years

The Countrywide monthly Lettings Index for January has found that compared to the same month last year average rents in the UK rose 1.2% to £906 a month.

While this represents the slowest increase in three years, average rents are 12% above their pre-recession peak, reaching the highest level on record. Unsurprisingly, London has seen the largest growth in rents anywhere in the country since 2007, with rents 34% higher than their pre-recession record. Between 2007 and 2016 the average Londoner has seen their rent rise from £966 to £1,295 a month.

Despite the popular narrative of ever rising rents, over the past nine years the majority of the country has experienced rents growing steadily in line with incomes. Average income has increased by 12%*1 since 2007 according to the ONS compared to a 12% increase in average rents.

However, the rental market adheres to a classic North/South divide. In the North West, North East and Wales the average tenant is still paying less than they were in 2007 by £12 a month. Across the UK as a whole, one in five tenants is still paying less rent than they were in 2007. In London rents have grown well beyond incomes. Incomes have only increased by 10% since 2007 in the Capital whilst rents have grown by 34% fuelled by a lack of supply and high demand. As a result tenants have had to either share, downsize or move further from the centre in order to accommodate this rise.

At current rates of rental growth the three regions where rents remain below their previous peak will see average rents surpass 2007 levels by the middle of 2016. In these regions landlords have increasingly looked to renegotiate with long term tenants, some of whom have enjoyed years without any increase in their rent. This January more landlords were able to increase the rent for tenants who renewed their contract in the North East, North West and Wales than at any time since 2012.


In 2007 the average monthly rent for a home in the UK peaked at £809 before the recession hit. Between the end of 2007 and 2008 the average cost of renting a newly let home fell 11%, equating to a fall in the average monthly rent of £87. This brought the cost of renting the average home down to £720. It wasn’t until the start of 2010 that rents started rising again.

Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide said: “Nationally rents in January rose at the slowest rate since 2012, as some of the upward pressure on prices subsided and affordability limited further rises. Across most of London and the South East the slowdown in rental growth is the first since 2010, where rents have been growing for the past 6 years.

The most sustainable way of creating a more affordable rental market in London and the South is by building more homes of every tenure. Unlike in the US where institutional investors build homes to rent, in the UK the sector is dominated by small landlords meaning the link between new homes getting built and the rental market isn’t nearly as close as it should be.”

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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