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Private sector rents hit record high

Private sector rents hit record high

Category: Buy To Let

Updated: 18/10/2013
First Published: 18/10/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

According to research from LSL Property Services, average rents in the private sector across England and Wales hit £757 per month in September – the highest level ever recorded.

On average, rents have risen 2.1% since September 2012 when the figure stood at £741/month, whilst there's been a sharp rise in monthly figures too, with rents increasing by 1.8% between August and September this year alone.

This now puts average rents at £13 per month higher than the previous record of £744, set in October 2012, with rents rising steadily over the previous 12 months.

These rises have largely been driven by rapid growth in the South East, where rents are 3.3% higher than they were a month ago. But, it's a national phenomenon with nine out of ten regions seeing rents rise between August and September this year, with only the East of England reporting a slight drop.

In fact, in seven out of ten regions, rents have never been higher.

These record rents have been mirrored by faster lettings activity too. The market has seen a surge of interest from rental tenants with greater demand pushing up prices, with the number of new lettings in September being 9.2% higher than a year previously.

These figures are perhaps surprising given that the Government's Help to Buy scheme was intended to get more people into homeownership, with higher rents and increased demand indicating that buying a first home is still a difficult proposition for many.

David Newnes, director of LSL, comments on the findings:

"A new peak in tenant demand has driven rents to new heights, well above all previous records. Higher rents in almost every region show that, despite government schemes, buying a first home is still a difficult aspiration.

"This is not only down to low salary growth, but also a general shortage of supply – which is the underlying reason why homes are getting more expensive. The long term-trend to renting therefore looks unlikely to change significantly in the near future, despite the better availability of finance compared to previous years."

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