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London rent rises outpace rest of UK

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Landlords in the capital have upped average rents twice as quickly as their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
London rent rises outpace rest of UK

According to the Office for National Statistics’ first comprehensive rental index, between May 2005 and May 2013 private rents increased by an average 11% in London and 8.4% in England as a whole.

Rents rose the most slowly in the North East, at 5.2%.

Legal & General housing and external affairs director Stephen Smith said:

“This inaugural report from the ONS shows that there continues to be an increasingly strong demand for rental properties. Whilst landlords are enjoying strong yields from property lets, the younger generation are struggling to keep up. “Something urgently needs to be done to improve the supply of new housing across the UK to help alleviate this situation.”

Since May 2011, rents rose by an average 2.7% in Great Britain, with an above average increase in England.

Scotland saw the lowest rent rise, at 2.2%. However, over the past year Wales has seen the most rapid increase in rents with a rise of 1.5%.

London-based letting agents Thorgill’s managing director Ben Madden said while average rents continued to rise the pace had slowed over the past year:

“The comparison with eight years ago underlines exactly how much the market has changed. Structural changes have made it infinitely more robust than a decade ago.

“The London rental market is certainly the most competitive in the UK and this is reflected in its average price rises over the past year.”

But demand could be affected by changes in the mortgage market which meant those who previously rented were considering buying, he added.

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