Rents in Great Britain have fallen by 2.2% in real terms over the last decade, figures released by Hamptons International have revealed.

While rents have risen by around 22% since 2008, inflation has gone up by 24% to reduce ‘real rents’, although drilling down into Hamptons’ statistics reveals some regional variations. The East of England has seen real rents rise by 7.5% while in London they have gone up by just 0.5%.

The sharpest individual fall in real rents occurred in the Midlands, where they dropped by 7.8%.  GoCompare’s 3D 360-degree tool recently showed that for the average rental cost of a small flat in the capital, in Birmingham you could rent a four-bedroom detached home with a double garage, conservatory, spacious garden, and a new kitchen.

New let figures on the rise

Hamptons’ figures also show an upturn in the current rental scene. Rental growth went up to 2%, the highest level since February, and the average cost of a new let rose to £977pcm. New lets in the East of England rose the highest year-on-year, going up by 3.9% while Scotland they rose by the smallest percentage – 1.1%. Average new lets were cheapest in the North of England at £648.

Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research, Hamptons International, said:

“Real rents in Great Britain have been falling for the last 21 consecutive months. This comes as a result of sluggish rental growth and a post-EU referendum backdrop of rising inflation.

However, this could be set to change as inflation begins to fade and rental growth starts to pick up pace. Currently the East and London are the only regions where real rents have risen over the last decade.

“Rental growth accelerated to 2.0% in October, the highest level since February. Every region recorded higher rents, with the East leading the way. Rental growth in London also picked up, driven by a 2.7% annual rise in Inner London rents.”

Other research has shown a steady, cautious scene with Homelet’s recent Rental Index showing the average UK rental value was £928 in October, up by 2.1% on the same month in 2017.