The race to leave London in search of outside space and better working from home conditions has had a major impact on the rental market, as UK average rents outside of London increase.
According to Homelet’s rental index for June, the average rent in the UK is now £1,007 per calendar month (pcm), up by 5.9% on the corresponding period last year and another record-high average price.
But when London is excluded, the average UK rent price is 8% higher than last year, up to £861pcm, showing a 10% growth on pre-Covid prices.
The South West of England saw the highest annual price rise, with the current average price of £948pcm marking a 10.5% increase on this time last year, and a 12.6% rise on pre-Covid levels.
Scotland saw the most significant month-on-month price rise, with the average price increasing 4.4% to £738pcm in June.
Andy Halstead, HomeLet & Let Alliance chief executive officer, said: “Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, the government rightly took measures to protect tenants but didn’t go far enough to balance the protection for landlords. It’s a continuation of the theme that we’ve seen for many years, with landlords being penalised by higher taxes and increased complexity in obtaining possession of their properties.
“In simple terms, increased costs for landlords mean increased costs for tenants. Some landlords have exited the market whilst the stamp duty holiday has stimulated the sales market, impacting the stock level. These are all factors driving an increase in rental values for new tenancies, which are way above the rate of inflation.
“The private rented sector plays a critical role in the UK’s housing market. As restrictions begin to ease, the flexibility provided by rentals will be crucial to mobility across the UK and as a means to access affordable housing that fits the varying needs of a diverse range of tenants.
“The sector works best when there’s a mutual balance between tenants, landlords and letting agents. The government can’t treat the rental market as an afterthought. Policies that solely focuses on homeownership will only deepen the issues in the UK’s housing market.
“Some people might be shocked to see the average UK rental price tip over the £1000 mark, yet supply and demand dynamics will only continue to drive rental prices upwards for the rest of the year, and we’ll see more records broken in 2021.”