Private-Sector Renters Central Housing Group

Rents rising by 1.4% outside London as demand for new tenancies ‘strong’

Latest year-on-year figures from Homelet reveal weakening demand in London but rising activity outside the capital and South East.

The economic challenges of the Covid crisis have yet to force down rents outside London, latest figures from the Homelet Rental Index covering July show.

The average rent for a new or renewed tenancy has increased by 1.4% to £808 when London’s sky-high rents are excluded, which are down by 3.2% year-on-year.

This drop is not surprising – many London landlords saw their younger tenants quit tenancies when they came up for renewal during lockdown as employers encouraged them to work from home and many consequently returned to their parents’ houses rather than carrying on paying rent.

But rents in some other parts of the UK have been increasing dramatically year-on-year including in the North West (+6.5%), Yorkshire & Humberside (+4.5%) and the South West (+2.5%).

“Demand for new tenancies is still strong, HomeLet received the same volume of property applications for tenant reference checks this month as the same month last year,” says Martin Totty, Chief Executive of Homelet.

“That coupled with the steadily increasing rents is positive for the sector, but there’s naturally caution around what could happen over the coming months.

“HomeLet’s tenant reference data is one of the few sources with access to large data sets underpinning robust regional trend data. It’ll be interesting to see what trends emerge, especially on the regional level and how these variations will affect both landlords and tenants across the country over the coming months.”

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