Rents increase as demand for quality rental accommodation outstrips supply

MoneyAnalysis from Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest lettings agency, shows that there has been an increase in the average UK rent for newly let properties.

In January 2015, the average rent for newly let properties in the UK was £883pcm, up from £859pcm in January 2014, an increase of 2.8%. One and two-bedroom properties see the greatest increase in rent up 8.5% and 3.6% to £751pcm and £810pcm respectively. Three-bedroom properties see a 1.6% increase to £930pcm, whilst four-bedroom plus properties see a 3% decrease to £1,345pcm.

In the regions, Greater London sees the largest increase in rent year-on-year, up 10.6% to £1,265pcm, followed by Wales up 6.1% to £666pcm and the South West up 4.1% to £765pcm. The only region to see a decrease in rent year-on-year is the South East, down 4.1% to £1,035pcm. This is due to a fall in demand for rental accommodation in the South East, as more tenants move out of the private rented sector and into the owner occupier sector.

Commenting on the Index Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director at Countrywide plc, said: “Renting is a flexible and relatively hassle-free way of living which suits many people’s lifestyles. It allows them to settle in a location where perhaps they couldn’t afford to buy but they enjoy living in. With a growing population of lifetime renters, increasing the amount of good quality, affordable rental accommodation is needed to meet this demand.

“With banks making it easier for landlords to offer longer tenancies and with more competitive buy-to-let mortgage products available, now is an ideal time for landlords to expand their portfolios and provide a more diverse range of affordable rental properties throughout the UK, not just in London and the South East as many would expect.”

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