UK rents at seven-year high

UK average rents are at their highest levels since 2014, reaching £996 – and marking the fifth consecutive month that the average price has increased, according to the latest analysis by Homelet.

Related topics:  Landlords
Property Reporter
10th May 2021
Rent Up 551

April's data revealed that when London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £853, showing an increase of 0.7% on last month, and an increase of 6.2% on last year. Nine of the twelve regions monitored by HomeLet showed a MOM increase in rental values between March 2021 and April 2021, with the North East seeing the largest increase of 2.4%.

Eleven of the twelve regions monitored by HomeLet showed a YOY increase in rental values between April 2020 and April 2021, with the South West seeing the largest increase at 8.6%. 

However, rents in London continue to fall YOY, showing a 5.3% drop between April 2020 and April 2021 – the eleventh decrease in annual variance in subsequent months.

The trends reported within the HomeLet Rental Index are from data on actual achieved rental values for just-agreed tenancies arranged in the most recent period – providing an in-depth insight into the lettings market and what's happening right now across the UK. 

Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance Chief Executive Officer, said: "We’re continuing to see a sustained demand for let property; against a backdrop of reduced stock, with landlords facing increased costs and growing concerns about legislative changes.

“As we gradually ease from protective measures, the stark reality is that we’re fast approaching a summer where rental prices could accelerate at a rate never seen before.

“Almost a quarter of adults in the UK live in the private rented sector. The sector’s importance seems to be understated by those who don’t understand how vital it is. We all agree that the industry works best when balancing the needs of all parties, critically between landlords and their tenants. The common misconception is that increases in rents are solely driven by unscrupulous landlords trying to maximise profits. That is simply not true.

“Landlords have been hit by a sustained raft of legislative changes, which mean that their costs to let property have had to increase. With the Tenant Fees Act as an example, costs are ultimately passed on to tenants through higher rents – the same group who should have benefitted most from that legislation.

“The ban on all tenant evictions and plans to abolish Section 21 may prompt some landlords to consider exiting the market when they’re able to, causing yet more strain on property supply. Letting property will continue to be an excellent long-term investment, but the pandemic has amplified some of the issues that both landlords and tenants are facing.

“The reality is that once the furlough scheme ends, millions of people could potentially be facing unemployment at the same time as tackling the most expensive rental market on record. The country risks a deepening crisis if policy change aimed at restoring balance to the market is not urgently pursued.”

Alexander Siedes, CEO at tenant referencing business, Homeppl, adds: “With rents now at a record high of £996 across the UK, it has never been more important for landlords to ensure they are able to approve good tenants. Our data shows that 1 in 50 tenants attempt to commit fraud when trying to rent a property, and with high tenant demand driving up rents, agents need to ensure their referencing partners are helping them to identify who the best tenants are."

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