What are the national rental trends telling us at the moment?

publication date: May 18, 2015
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What do the national rental trends from Belvoir and LSL tell us?

Looking at the Belvoir Rental Index, which measures both existing and new rents, there were some increases from December through to February, with rental levels dropping back during March. The LSL figures indicate a slight fall in January, then a slight rise in February and March. The Homelet index, which is an insurance index for new lets only, is showing an increase in rents in January from December, with a further slight rise in March.

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Although LSL show that residential property rents across England and Wales are now around 3.5% higher than March 14, rents overall have remained fairly stable for the last seven months.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, comments: “Since 2010 the private rented sector has absorbed over a million extra households. With social housing in decline, alongside a parallel decay in the number of people owning their own home with a mortgage, private renting has stood in to fill the gap.

With only small real-terms rent rises, this has generally been a success – and tenants are now half as likely to fall behind on rent as at the peak of the financial crisis. However, this sector is carrying the weight of the housing crisis – and that will mean faster rent rises in future if supply doesn’t keep up. Without more homes every year to match a rising population, housing will inevitably become more expensive. And with one in five households now renting privately, this section of the population won’t be an exception to those fundamentals.”

Belvoir report a rental decrease during March, having experienced higher rents between December 14 and February 15, and indicates a year on year increase of around 2.3% when comparing March 2015 with a year ago. These increases are mainly driven by London and the South East.

Homelet suggest that for new tenancies, the average rent is 9.5% higher than in March 2014, which is also due to higher rents in London and the South West. Homelet rental statistics always tend to report higher increases than other indices.

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