UK rents continue to rise
Countrywide’s monthly lettings index found the average UK rent during January 2015 was £836 per month.
This represents a 2% increase on the previous year with rents for newly let properties some 2.8% higher than at the start of 2014.
Rents in the capital continued to rocket with the average tenant in Greater London now paying £1,265 per calendar month for a new rental, a rise of 10.6% over the last year.
New rental prices in Wales rose 6.1% to £666pcm and in the South West up 4.1% to £765pcm. The only region which saw a decrease in year-on-year rents was the South East, down 4.1% to £1,035pcm.
Countrywide said this fall was down a growing number of former renters purchasing their own home.
Buy-to-let investors will also be buoyed by statistics showing arrears have decreased year-on-year in most regions apart from the North of England, where levels were flat, and Central London where arrears increased by 0.6%.
Nick Dunning, group commercial director at Countrywide, said despite the growth of government schemes such as Help to Buy, renting remained the right choice for a large amount of people.
“Renting is a flexible and relatively hassle-free way of living which suits many people’s lifestyles. It allows them to settle in a location where perhaps they couldn’t afford to buy but they enjoy living in. With a growing population of lifetime renters, increasing the amount of good quality, affordable rental accommodation is needed to meet this demand.
“With banks making it easier for landlords to offer longer tenancies and with more competitive buy-to-let mortgage products available, now is an ideal time for landlords to expand their portfolios and provide a more diverse range of affordable rental properties throughout the UK, not just in London and the South East as many would expect.”