Last year’s UK rental market was decidedly steady, with average rents rising by 1.7% in the year to December 2017, although regional variations painted a slightly different picture.
The UK average monthly rental price agreed on a new tenancy in December, according to HomeLet’s most recent figures, was £907, which was £25 higher than the previous December’s average of £892. Over the course of last year, across the UK as a whole, rent inflation stayed relatively flat compared to 2016’s results, and remained below the rate of inflation throughout the year.
Regionally, however, there were significant differences. The highest increase year-on-year was seen in the East Midlands, which saw monthly rents rise from £584 in December 2016 to £611, a hike of 4.6% – although there was a decline of 0.7% between November and December.
At the other end of the scale, rents in the south-east of England fell by 1% in the year to December, from £999 to £989. In Wales, average rents on new tenancies ended the year on exactly the same level as 2016, at £605 per month.
Balancing the market
The north-west and north-east of the country also saw higher than average rent inflation last year, with rises of 2.4% and 3.2% respectively. The average monthly rent in the north-west is now £686, while in the north-east it’s £545.
HomeLet’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Totty said: “2017 was a year in which rental price inflation was modest; we actually saw average rents across the country fall during May and June, and while this was not repeated during the second half of the year, we remain some way off the much higher levels of rental price inflation that prevailed in 2015 and much of 2016.
“We continue to see a very mixed picture regionally: in areas of the country where rents rose less quickly in 2015 and 2016, rental price inflation was much higher last year; by contrast, those areas where rents were previously rising fastest have been seeing much more modest increases.”