New rent prices drop across England and Wales in all but three regions

Rents agreed on new tenancies have declined in all but three regions of the UK over the past month, HomeLet data shows.

The tenant referencing company says average new rent prices were down 1.3% between August and September to £927, or £766 excluding London.

Prices were flat in Yorkshire on a monthly basis to £630, up 0.3% in Northern Ireland to £636 and up 0.5% in the east midlands at £620 a month.

The biggest fall was in the south-west where rents were down 2.9% to £814, followed by a 2.6% drop in the south-east to £1,001. New rents also fell 1% in London to £1,593 a month.

The annual figures show a rise of 2.1% year-on-year during September, with only the south-east seeing a decline of 0.1%.

The HomeLet data comes one day after figures from Rightmove showed that declines in new asking price rents in  London, the south-east and Yorkshire & Humberside had dragged down the national average on a quarterly basis across the UK.

Elsewhere, however, Rightmove – reporting on new asking prices, and not recently agreed prices – said advertised rent prices had gone up.

Martin Totty, chief executive of HomeLet, said of his own firm’s new data: “While it is perhaps too early to conclude, this data signals the re-emergence of an upward trend in rents.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if landlords, seeing their own current and anticipated cost increases, seek to pass these costs on to tenants to preserve the returns from capital they have invested in residential property assets.

“Landlords are facing a deluge of higher costs from new regulation, taxation changes on buy-to-let mortgages and the prospect of a near-term rise in interest rates. There’s also the added uncertainty over the fall-out from the government’s intention to ban letting agents from charging up-front fees to tenants.”

“In a sector where demand for rental properties generally outstrips supply, most informed commentators suggest higher externally imposed costs on landlords will inevitably translate into higher rents to tenants.

“This may prove to be the start of that upward movement, especially if tenants are left competing for fewer rental properties because some landlords decide the returns from property investment are being eroded by factors beyond their control.”

How does your region fare?

Region Average rent in September 2017 Average rent in August 2017 Average rent in September 2016 Monthly variation Annual variation
Northern Ireland £636 £634 £610 0.3% 4.3%
West Midlands £692 £693 £666 -0.1% 3.9%
East Midlands £620 £617 £598 0.5% 3.7%
South West £814 £838 £787 -2.9% 3.4%
Scotland £628 £629 £613 -0.2% 2.4%
Yorkshire & Humberside £630 £630 £616 0.0% 2.3%
North West £697 £703 £683 -0.9% 2.0%
North East £529 £538 £519 -1.7% 1.9%
Greater London £1,593 £1,609 £1,563 -1.0% 1.9%
Wales £617 £626 £606 -1.4% 1.8%
East of England £914 £926 £898 -1.3% 1.8%
South East £1,001 £1,028 £1,002 -2.6% -0.1%
UK £927 £939 £908 -1.3% 2.1%
UK excluding Greater London £766 £776 £749 -1.3% 2.3%


Based on new tenancies in September 2017 Based on new tenancies in August 2017 Based on new tenancies in September 2016 Comparison of average rent in September 2017 and August 2017 Comparison of average rent in September 2017 and September 2016

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