April monthly lettings index

-Greatest yields achieved in Wales, the North and the Midlands

-Average monthly rent increases for the sixth consecutive month to £842pcm

-One and two bedroom properties saw the greatest increase in average monthly rent

-Rent arrears fall in all regions, apart from Scotland, Inner London and East of England

Yields: Analysis from the UK’s largest lettings agency, with over 2,000 dedicated lettings professionals, shows that regionally the greatest yields are being achieved in Wales at 6.7% and the North and the Midlands are both achieving 6.5%. Also yields are highly attractive with one bedroom properties achieving the best yields at 6.8%, followed by two bedroom properties at 6.4%, three-bedroom properties at 6.2% and four plus bedroom properties at 5.6%.

Average monthly rent: One and two bedroom properties saw the greatest increase in average monthly rent in April, with a 1.4% and 1.3% month-on-month increase to £679pcm and £766pcm respectively.  The average monthly rent for three bedroom properties was £882pcm, an increase of 0.1% on March and for four plus bedroom properties it was £1,392pcm, a decrease of 0.2% on March.

Rent arrears: Rent arrears are falling in all regions apart from Scotland which saw the greatest increase (up 5.4%), followed by Inner London (up 0.6%) and East of England (up 0.3%). In terms of property sizes the level of rent arrears remained stable in April for all property sizes, apart from one bedroom properties which saw a rent arrears increase of 0.1%.

Average monthly rent by region

The average monthly rent in England, Scotland and Wales, has risen for six consecutive months to £842pcm in April, up 0.3% on March and 0.8% year-on-year. Scotland has the lowest average monthly rent at £604pcm and Inner London the highest at £2371pcm.
Average monthly rents have fallen year-on-year in Inner London, South East, Wales and Outer London. Surprisingly, Inner London has seen the greatest fall at 6.3%, followed by South East at 4.1%, Wales at 1.9% and Outer London at 0.5%. Find out more at Countrywide.co.uk.

Commenting on the Index, Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director at Countrywide plc, said:

“Countrywide’s inaugural Monthly Lettings Index, the largest of its kind provides real time insight into the rental market across the UK. The growing average monthly rents in England, Scotland and Wales, demonstrates demand for rental properties remains high. Interestingly, average monthly rents have fallen in April in Inner London, Outer London, South East and Wales. While prime Central London has seen the greatest fall at 6.3%, this is simply reflecting the fact that in April stock levels in prime Central London were very high compared to last year which benefited from the Olympics. As a result this April, tenants tended to view multiple properties putting in lower offers, which some landlords accepted. However, as demand picks up into the summer, and supply and demand becomes more balanced, the same property could easily rent for more in August than in April.

With renting for longer now the norm for many people as they save for a deposit to buy their first home, we are seeing more young families looking to rent cheaper accommodation, hence the increase in demand for smaller rental properties.
Based on current figures, buy-to-let property investments remain a strong performer against savings and other vehicles of investment with the highest yields being achieved in Wales, the Midlands and the North.  These trends are expected to continue which encouraging for both current and potential investors.”

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