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Rents in England and Wales increased by 3% over the course of 2014, despite falling on a monthly basis between November and December, the latest index data shows. The average residential rent across England and Wales now stands at £767 compared to the £745 recorded in December 2013, according to the buy to let index from Your Move and Reeds Rains. The firm said that this ‘strong annual growth’ comes despite falls on a monthly basis, with average rents 0.1% lower than they were in November 2014. ‘Recent months have shown a divergence from usual seasonal norms. Historically, there is a tendency for rents to ease in the winter, particularly December. With fewer tenants willing to relocate in the festive period, landlords usually compete to fill empty properties and agreed rents tend to dip as a result. Last month that happened and rents fell compared to November but by much less than the usual extent,’ said Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move. ‘In particular a jobs boom across the eastern regions of England has seen a larger than usual number of people relocating in the winter months. This has pushed up rental prices in these regions even further,’ he added. Indeed, rents are higher than a year ago in eight out of 10 regions of England and Wales. This is led by the East of England, with a 7.6% annual increase. The East Midlands has seen rents rise by 6.2% on an annual basis, followed by London where rents are up 4.1% over the last 12 months, and Yorkshire and the Humber with a 3.4% annual increase. As a result, these four regions have seen a new record for rents in December. By contrast rents in two regions are lower than a year ago. Average rents in the North East fell by 2.1% over the course of 2014, while rents in the South West are 1% lower on an annual basis. Most recently, three regions have seen rents continue to rise between November and December, despite an overall drop on a monthly basis across England and Wales. This is led by London with rents 0.9% higher in December than in November, followed by a 0.7% rise in Yorkshire and the Humber and a 0.2% month on month increase for the East of England. By contrast the South East has seen the sharpest month on month fall in the cost of renting, down 1.5% between November and December. This is followed by a 1.3% monthly drop in the North West and rents in Wales which are now 1.1% lower than in November. The monthly index report also shows that tenant finances deteriorated in December, as is often seen over the festive period. The proportion of all rent in arrears stands at 8.9% as of December… Continue reading →
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