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Landlords see average rents rise 6% in a year – excluding London

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

18 February 2021

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The rental market has proved resilient during the latest lockdown, with average monthly rents up 5.8 per cent on a year ago, according to new research.

The percentage excludes London, which has proved the exception as tenants look to move out of the capital in search for more indoor and outdoor space.

The average rent in Britain is now £981 a month, up 2.9 per cent from £953 last year, HomeLet said.

However, when London is excluded, the typical monthly is £839, an increase of 5.8 per cent on a year ago.

South West sees biggest increase in rents

Nine of the twelve regions analysed by HomeLet revealed a year-on-year increase in rental values between January 2020 and January 2021.

The South West saw the largest increase for the fifth month in a row at 8 per cent.

Meanwhile, rents in London continue to fall year-on-year, down 3.9 per cent between January 2020 and January 2021. It’s the eighth decrease in annual variance in subsequent months.

Eleven of the 21 London borough groupings monitored by HomeLet showed an annual decrease in rental values against last year.

At the same time, HomeLet said that the average tenancy for a tenant moving to a new home was two years and nine months in January. It’s only marginally higher than last year when the figure was two years and eight months.

Changing needs during the pandemic

Andy Halstead, Chief Executive of HomeLet, said: "The needs of tenants have shifted throughout the pandemic, creating upward pressure on locations that offer more space, both inside and outside the property.

"While the broader economic outlook is uncertain, the private rented sector is exceptionally resilient. And we're now seeing the optimism of the vaccine rollout.”

Tenants seek more space

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also found that tenant demand has increased in the three months leading up to January.

At the same time, it said that new landlord instructions fell for a second quarter in succession.

However, it also said that letting agents in London continue to predict a fall in rents in the next three months.

Simon Rubinsohn, Chief Economist at RICS, said: “The appeal of properties with more room and outside space is a theme that continues to be strongly evident.

“Renewed concerns are evident regarding the supply of properties in the rental market.

“Changes in the regulatory framework as well as the tax regime are frequently cited as drivers of this trend, which is widely seen as pushing rents higher in most parts of the country despite current affordability concerns.

“London is a notable exception from this trend with private rents viewed as remaining under pressure over the coming months.”

Have you seen rents increase in your region? Let us know in the comments below

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