Rents rise marginally ahead of inflation for first time in 14 months

Rents have risen in real terms for the first time in 14 months, according to LSL.

However, the rise is barely measurable.

The average rent across England and Wales is now £753 per month, 2% higher than in July 2013, and identical to the average rent last November.

It means that rents are just 0.1% higher than a year ago after taking into account consumer price inflation of 1.9%.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL, said: “As the summer turns to early autumn, the rental market is approaching its busiest period – yet rent rises remain modest.

“Tenants looking to rent a new property this month still need to budget the same as they would have in November.

“At a time when the UK is facing a serious shortage of homes, and with purchase prices rising steadily, that is an immense achievement for the private rented sector.

“Rents have tracked inflation for many years – and as of July remain down 0.2% in real terms since the start of 2010. This is testament to serious improvements in the supply of new homes to let, thanks to investment by landlords.

“If that investment keeps flowing, and the right incentives for new landlords remain, this positive trend should continue.”

But he went on: “Looking ahead, the biggest risk for the health of the private rented sector is unconstructive government regulation.

“If this successful industry becomes a political football in the run-up to a general election, then landlords will be frightened away from the market, and tenants would be worse off.”

Rents in nine out of ten regions are higher than a year ago. The fastest annual increase is in the south-east, where the average monthly rent is now 3.8% higher than in July 2013.

This is followed by a 3% annual increase in the north-west, and annual rent rises of 2.3% in London.

The north-east is the only region where rents have dropped over the last 12 months, falling 3.8%.

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