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Average rents across England and Wales have reached a new all-time record high of £768 per month despite a slowdown in annual rises, the latest data shows. Rent rises increased by just 1.5% in the year to September, down from 2.4% in the year to August, according to the buy to let index from lettings agent networks Your Move and Reeds Rains. On a monthly basis September’s average rents are 0.8% higher than in August, representing a rise of £7 in absolute terms since the previous month. David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, said that historically rent rises have broadly tracked inflation and as the wider cost of living grows ever more slowly, so too has the cost of renting a home. ‘That said, autumn is always a busy period for the lettings industry, and this has been no exception. Looking ahead, it is likely that rents in most parts of the UK will have now reached their seasonal peak so as the market cools along with the autumn weather there may be opportunities for some tenants to pick up a favourable deal,’ he explained. ‘Landlords predict slower rent rises to continue for at least a year. The latest LSL Landlord Survey shows expected rent rises of just 1.8% over the next 12 months, below the target rate of inflation,’ he added. Newnes pointed out that another critical development in the rental market is the resurgence of demand in regions outside of London and the South East. ‘Regions with a new charge of economic growth, like the North West or East of England, have now led annual rental growth on an equal basis with the capital for most of this year. London’s rents were rising by 8% at the start of 2013 but are now climbing at around a quarter of that pace,’ he said. A breakdown of the figures show that rents in five out of 10 regions of England and Wales are higher than a year ago. The East of England has seen the fastest annual increase, of 3.1%, followed by the South West at 2.3% and London with a 2.2% rise in rents since September 2013. Meanwhile, rents in the West Midlands are now 2.4% lower than a year ago, followed by an annual fall of 2.3% in the North East and rents in Wales dropping 1.1% compared to September last year. However on a monthly basis none of the ten regions has seen rents fall. Between August and September the average rent in the South East rose by 1.8%, while the North West has seen a monthly increase of 1.4% and in the North East rents are now 1.2% higher than in August. By contrast, Yorkshire and the Humber has seen no change in rents since August, while the slowest monthly rent rises were seen in the East Midlands, up just… Continue reading →
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