Once again, the latest figures from the HomeLet rental index indicate that London is the most expensive place in the UK to rent a property from a private landlord. The average monthly rent in London has climbed a further 6.4% since the same time last year, now coming out at £1,752 per calendar month.
The second most expensive region in the UK for renting remains the South East of England, where it now costs an average of £1,139 per month to rent a home privately, 6.1% up from the same time last year. The South West has also seen significant monthly average rent growth over the past 12 months, up 7.6% to reach a new high of £971 per calendar month.
At the opposite end of the scale, the cheapest place in the UK for private rentals is the North East of England. Average rents in the region now stand at £578 per calendar month, up just 1% from the month before and an increase of 3.6% since September.
On average, it now costs £1,061 per month to rent a home privately in the UK, an increase of 7.5% from last year and a 0.8% increase from September.
The second-cheapest place to rent a home in the UK is Northern Ireland, where the average monthly rent now stands at £705. This was followed closely by Yorkshire and the Humber with an average monthly rent of £725, after which came Wales at £734 and the East Midlands at £735.
Wales recorded the highest annual growth of all, with average rents increasing by just under 13% since the same time last year. Scotland came in second with an average monthly rent growth of 10.8% over the past 12 months.
Issues with affordability
Private renters in London continue to spend the largest proportion of their income on rent than those in other parts of the UK, a full 33.7% of their take-home pay. By contrast, renters in the North West spend, on average, 22.1% of their income on monthly rent bills.
Head of marketing at HomeLet & Let Alliance, Matthew Carter, commented on how the ongoing gap between supply and demand is continuing to fuel sky-high rents.
“Typically, rental prices rise in line with inflation and wage growth; that’s something we’ve continued to see. Despite record rents, tenants moving home spend a similar percentage of their income on their monthly rent,” he said.
“Housing follows the same fundamental laws of economics as other goods that consumers need. Ultimately, demand, coupled with lower stock levels for certain types of property, is driving up rental values. The concern is that we’re at a point where there are some areas with exceptionally high demand. Landlords and the lettings market have faced a continued raft of changes and legislation; the government needs to carefully consider how any future policy might impact the 4.5 million households in the private rented sector. The government’s push on homeownership shouldn’t be done to the detriment of an industry that plays a critical role in UK housing.”