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Insight & Opinion

UK rental prices on the increase

Author: Gemma

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The cost of average advertised monthly rates is on the increase once again, new data from Move with Us has revealed.

According to the property experts, there was a 0.77 per cent rise in UK rental prices last month. The research showed the biggest rental increases were seen in Scotland, with monthly costs rising by 3.57 per cent, settling at an average sum of £676 per month in rent.

When comparing the latest figures to last year, the overall rental market has increased by 1.63 per cent, meaning the average advertised rent in the country now stands at £987, with expectations this will surpass the £1,000 mark sometime this year.

Unsurprisingly, it was Greater London that saw one of the largest prices for monthly rent, with tenants paying an average of £2,221 per month. This is an increase of 0.61 per cent on the previous year and is largely responsible for the increase in the national average.

It also demonstrates a rental cost that is twice as high as the next top region, with property in the south-east asking for an average of £1,138 per month.

Robin King, director of Move with Us, said: “London continues to operate in its own bubble and asking rents are on the rise again following declines. It is likely that the current increase in average asking rents is a sign of further increases to come as the population growth in Greater London carries on.”

He went on to say that recent Office for National Statistic figures show the London population now stands in excess of 8.17 million people, putting further pressure on housing supply and pushing up rental rates.

Elsewhere, landlords in Scotland, East Anglia and the south-east are letting in the strongest performing regions when compared to January last year. Advertised rents saw respective increases of 3.57 per cent, 3.45 per cent and 2.17 per cent.

“Landlords in Scotland have seen a strong start to the year benefiting from good rental yields in places such as Aberdeen due to the high wages and short employment contracts of the oil and gas industry,” Mr King observed.

However, Wales and the north-east saw a fall in monthly average rents, presenting a 0.98 per cent and 1.77 per cent decrease when compared to the same month in 2013. Rents stood at an average of £679 per month in Wales, whereas rental residents in the north-east pay £695 per month.

Mr King concluded that landlords in the south-east and East Anglia will also be positively impacted by population growth in the capital, as commuters look towards these areas as an alternative place to live over the high London prices. This means that rental prices will continue to rise in the regions, providing improving returns on a less expensive property investment. The expert said it does not look like this trend will stop in 2014.

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