‘Frenzied’ rental market sees average prices rise again

The average UK rental price has now hit £1,213 per calendar month, according to the HomeLet rental index for May 2023.

The figure represents a month-on-month rise of 1.2%.

When London is excluded, the average price of rent in the UK is £1,016 PCM – up 1% from the previous month and up 9.5% year on year.

Scotland saw the highest monthly increase in the UK, with rental averages rising by 2.6% monthly.

The UK’s cheapest area, the North East, saw another dip, dropping 2% month on month to £632.

Commenting on the data, Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance chief executive officer, said: “Rental prices remain high, which brings a level of risk for both tenants and landlords. 

“The London rental market in particular shows no signs of slowing down – there have only been a handful of occasions on which the monthly average has been recorded above £2,000 PCM, with this month’s average of £2,039 PCM going down as the highest ever recorded.

“The fact that the London market is rising in terms of average price while the cheapest area in the country (North East of England) is falling shows that the level of demand somewhat depends on location, but as a broad rule, there is a shortage of rental properties to meet demand, with many prospective tenants facing a real battle to secure a property. 

“This frenzied market is likely to see prices continue to rise in the coming months.”


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  1. Woodentop

    Sounds like they know what to do in the North East?


    I’ve never seen such greed in some quarters and many parts of the UK are now very close to London prices. Its a constant battle trying to advise landlords who’s mate in the pub is getting xyz rent, is not affordable.


    Vacant asking prices in areas of extreme low stock are being fought over by tenants who frankly have no hope of maintaining the rent long term. Where we would have been getting onto 200 hundred enquiries for an affordable single rental property 12 months ago, we now have 30 and not-one is passing credit checks and yet they say they can afford …… out of desperation to get a roof.


    As soon as we put a property on at a manageable rent, we are swamped and even get answerphone message left in the early hours of the morning and weeks after we have rented it and pulled the marketing. I’m getting really annoyed with web site scraping that is costing us with wasted time calls.


    Then the other issue is existing tenants having hiked up increases to keep up with the Jones’s. Thankfully nearly all our landlords recognise the value of good stable tenants and increases have been sensible but below the new vacant asking rents.

  2. northernlandlord

    You could argue that rents like house prices will find their own level. Obviously you can’t rent to applicants who “frankly have no hope of maintaining the rent long term” and If you cannot find a single applicant who could make the cut, then rents must be “topping out” and landlords will have to tailor their asking rents to manageable levels.
    At the same time landlords have to decide if “manageable” rent levels are sustainable for them.  A 5% return on property value after covering all costs used to be considered a good return when interest rates were around 1%. Now you can get nearly 5% with money on deposit with no risk of being wiped out by a bad tenant or being faced with the other potential costs coming down the line and the fear that you could lose control over your own property if rent controls and eviction bans come in.  You can argue that a landlord is making money on the property all the time its value is increasing. That is all very well, but the promise of cash in the future does not cover the lack of cash in the present with many landlords being in the position of being asset rich and cash poor. We are told house price growth is slowing and CGT thresholds are dropping so the prospect of holding out for the future pay-out is less attractive than it was. This situation is even worse for landlords with mortgages. If they cannot get the increase in mortgage costs from their tenants because rent levels have topped out then they have no option but to sell.


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