Lettings annual review reveals UK rental hotspots

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Leicester, Southall and Cambridge have been identified as UK lettings hotspots with average rents in 2014 some 45%, 38% and 24% higher, respectively, than 2013. By contrast, rent prices have fallen by the greatest amount in Colchester, Croydon and Brighton compared to 2013, with rents on new rental agreements 24%, 23% and 18% lower respectively in 2014. The HomeLet Rental Index annual review also shows that on average, rents across the UK in 2014 were 6.6% higher than in the previous year with the average monthly rent in the UK now standing at £867. However, when analysed on a regional and local basis, the data reveals some marked differences in rental market performance. Year on year rents have increased 9% in Scotland but fallen 4.6% in the North West. In Wales average rents have fallen 3.7% year on year and were down 1.4% month on month in December. East Anglia has also seen an annual and monthly fall, down 2.7% and 2.9% respectively. While Greater London has seen a 12% annual rise in average rents, they fell 11% in December, indicating that rental prices are falling considerably in the capital city to an average of £1,393 a month. If London is taken out of the equation then the annual rise is just 1.6%. On a monthly basis the UK wide figure fell by 0.8% in December 2014. Just four regions saw a monthly rise, led by the North East at 5.1%, then the North West up 1.6%, the South West 0.5% and the South East 0.2%. Spokesman Martin Totty said that 2014 was predominantly a year for growth in the rental market. ‘With property prices continuing to grow, and mortgage criteria tightening, the rental market represents a much more accessible option for house hunters than the property ladder,’ he claimed. ‘The demand for rental property is increasing, and we expect it to continue doing so in 2015 as large numbers of people are priced out of buying. As a result, we expect to see continued growth in rental prices across the UK as the new year progresses, particularly as real incomes are starting to rise,’ he explained. However, he pointed out that the data also points to some big differences in rental market performance in 2014 from town to town and city to city. ‘The causative factor behind these differences is as simple as supply and demand. In, locations such as Leicester and Cambridge, demand for rental property is outstripping supply. By contrast, Croydon and some parts of Essex are benefitting from a relative boom in new property building, easing the pressure on the local rental market and this is reflected by a drop in rental prices,’ he added. There appears to have been a typical end of year seasonal adjustment in the market, the figures also suggest. Totty pointed out that while rental prices fell in many regions of the UK in December, the… Continue reading →

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