Rent increases likely to be muted in the UK in 2015, it is predicted

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Market conditions, combined with the likelihood of interest rate rises and uncertainty over the general election is likely to result in static or low rental increases in the UK in 2015, it is claimed. Rental rises are likely to be restricted by factors such as continued low disposable income, anticipated interest rate rises and a forecast of economic development in 2015 that is expected to be lower than this year, according to the forecast analysis from Belvoir Lettings. A review of the year shows that rents have not changed much since 2008. When the firm first started tracking rents in March 2008 they were £698 per month, fell to £678 in 2009 and fluctuated around this level until 2014 when they reached £691 per month. ‘On average, after seven years, Belvoir offices that have traded consistently have seen little or no growth in rents, albeit there have been falls and rises during this time. For the Belvoir group however, average rents have risen due to an increase in the number of new offices joining Belvoir in higher rental areas south of the Midlands,’ said Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir's director of commercial and franchising. Rents for the whole group, including new offices, were £707 per month in 2008, recovering to £715 per month in 2012 and 2013, seeing an annual average of £735 per month year to date, a 4% rise for the group over the last seven years. Regionally, in England, rents vary from £570 in the East Midlands to nearly £1,500 per month in London. The majority of Belvoir offices in Scotland are either seeing rents flat or slightly falling outside of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, with rents ranging from £500 to just over £600. In Wales, rents have been relatively static since offices opened, with average rents varying from just over £500 to £700 per month. Belvoir's research shows that over the last seven years London rents are up around 20%, while the South East is up 7%, West Midlands 6% and Yorkshire up 3%. Rents in the South West are on a par and rents in East Anglia have nearly recovered. In contrast, rents in the East Midlands are still 5% lower while in the North West they are down by 4% versus 2008. Year on year, rents are up in most areas, reflecting the tightening of stock levels versus high demand and better economic performance, which helps tenants to afford to pay more rent. However, areas such as Yorkshire, the North West and East Midlands have seen a fall year on year, suggesting the North/South divide in England is impacting on rental performance. ‘From a sales and property price perspective, this year saw a continued recovery of the property market. However, price rises and recovery were driven largely by activity in the London and the South East, said Gonsalves. ‘After 18 months of rapid growth, the rise in London seems to have… Continue reading →

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