Rents in England and Wales close to record high, latest index shows

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Rents in England and Wales are now £768 per month with average annual rent rises growing at their fastest pace in two years, up 3.7% over the last 12 months. The last time rents rose so quickly was in the year to April 2013, when this previously stood at 3.9% per annum, according to the latest buy to let index from Your Move and Reeds Rains. Between February and March rents have risen by 0.3% on a monthly basis and are now just £2 away from the all-time record high of £770 per month, set in October 2014, the data also shows. ‘Since 2010 the private rented sector has absorbed over a million extra households. With social housing in decline, alongside a parallel decay in the number of people owning their own home with a mortgage, private renting has stood in to fill the gap,’ said Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move. ‘With only small real terms rent rises, this has generally been a success and tenants are now half as likely to fall behind on rent as at the peak of the financial crisis. However, this sector is carrying the weight of the housing crisis and that will mean faster rent rises in future if supply doesn’t keep up,’ he pointed out. ‘Without more homes every year to match a rising population, housing will inevitably become more expensive. And with one in five households now renting privately, this section of the population won’t be an exception to those fundamentals. Britain needs more homes, and over the long term, investment by landlords will only provide places to live as quickly as those homes are given planning permission and completed,’ he added. A breakdown of the figures shows that rents in the East of England stand out with 12.0% annual growth. The average property to let in the East of England region is now considerably more expensive than the South East. London is second in terms of annual rent rises with rents in the capital 5% higher than in March 2014, while Yorkshire and the Humber has seen rent rises of 3.3% over the last 12 months. At the other end of the spectrum, rents in the East Midlands are now 0.2% lower than a year ago, while the South West has seen no annual change. Most recently, rents have also risen the fastest month on month in the East of England, up 2.5% just since February 2015. However on a monthly basis the North West is not far behind, with rents up 2.3% over the last month, while this is followed by Yorkshire and the Humber with rent rises of 0.4% since February. By contrast, rents in the East Midlands have dropped by 0.6% between February and March, while the North East and Wales both saw rents 0.5% lower in… Continue reading →

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