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Rent hikes continue across UK

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Average rents have continued to rise across the UK, new figures from estate agency chain Countrywide have shown.

It found the average rents for newly let properties increased 4.5% in the last three months to reach £894 per calendar month.

Average rents for renewed tenancies in March were £848pcm, something which represents an increase of 0.8% month-on-month and 2.3% year-on-year.

In the first three months of 2015 average monthly rent increased for one and two bedroom properties, growing 0.8% and 0.4% to £730 per month and £817 per month respectively. Three bedroom properties saw rents drop slightly, falling by 0.1% to £939.

Average rents increase for one and two bedroom properties in Q1 2015, up 0.8% and 0.4% respectively on Q4 2014. Rents remain stable for three and four bedroom plus properties, showing just a decrease of 0.1%

On a regional basis the north and the east of England, Scotland and Wales all saw a 0.2% increase. Greater London witnessed a 0.4% increase and central London a 1.4% increase.

Across England, Scotland and Wales arrears have continued to fall in the last year, something the report suggests is down to better household finances.

Nick Dunning, group commercial director at Countrywide, said: “Stable rents and declining arrears reflect healthier economic conditions in the UK rental market in the run up to the general election.

“Zero inflation and rising incomes means that on average the cost of living has decreased and this is having a positive impact of consumer’s confidence and disposable income.”

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