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Residential rents in England and Wales increased by 2.8% in the last year to an average of £763 and are now 16% higher than in 2010, according to the latest rental index to be published. The data also shows that over last five years rents have grown by an average 3% per year but after inflation is taken into account this amounts to just 0.6% annually, the buy to let index from Your Move and Reeds Rains shows. In absolute terms, the average residential rent across England and Wales has grown by £107 since January 2010, to reach £763 as of January 2015. This amounts to an average annual rent rise of 3.0% over the last half decade. However, this represents a real terms increase of 0.6% per annum when adjusted for inflation over the same period. Most recently, rents have fallen on a monthly basis, down 0.6% between December 2014 and January 2015. On an annual basis, rents are 2.8% higher than was seen last January. ‘The nature and affordability of UK housing is transforming before our eyes. In the last five years the private rented sector has successfully absorbed an unprecedented influx of tenants, while rental prices have broadly tracked inflation,’ said Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move. ‘As ever, the devil is in the detail but as this growth accelerates, even more investment will be necessary for the industry to keep up. So we need more buy to let landlords to help solve the crisis in demand for homes to rent,’ he explained. He pointed out that it is also important to recognise that these figures don’t float in a hermetically sealed chamber. ‘Many other aspects of finance and the housing market feed into this sector. Rents represent a landlord’s attempt to recoup investment at a reasonable market rate dictated by consumer prices, inflation, and basic principles of supply and demand. Over the long term, rents also tend to reflect higher house prices,’ he said. ‘In real terms, rents have risen only incrementally. But any real and sustained growth in rents should offer a clear lesson. As with the purchase market, the only clear way to make rented housing dramatically more affordable is to build far more homes, far more quickly than is currently the case. And until this happens, landlords are likely to continue to earn double digit returns on their investments,’ he added. Eight out of 10 regions saw lower rents in January 2015 than in December 2014. Only the East of England and the North East defied this downward trend, with 1.3% and 0.7% monthly increases in market rents, respectively. The dominant movement towards lower rents in January was led by a 2% month on month drop in the South West, closely followed by the North West with a 1.7% drop, and the East… Continue reading →
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