Quarterly average rents in the UK increased from £681 to £727, suggesting a 7% rise in rents so far this year, according to the latest national analysis from Belvoir Lettings.
The figures, using data from 137 offices, suggest that from a tenant’s perspective it is currently a good time to rent. Property expert Kate Faulkner, who analyses the regional data for Belvoir Lettings says that the recent addition of 13 Belvoir offices to the index will in reality have driven the rise.
‘Rather than measure average rents on a year by year basis, it’s much more useful to track current rents from the highs and lows of the market. Belvoir’s figures show that since the September 2008 height of £709, rents slipped to a low of £674 in July 2009, a fall of 5%, and rose to £697 in 2010. The average rent for 2012 is around £683 per month. This suggests that rents are still down by around 3.5% versus the heights from four and a half years ago,’ explained Faulkner.
‘Stock remains tight and when this happens, rents are likely to go up or decent properties are tougher if not impossible to find. For those new to the rental market, the sooner they secure a property and a good rental record, the more likely they are to be able to stay in the property without having to pay higher rents for the next six to twelve months. If a tenant does have to move, they will have a good track record of paying rent regularly so it’s easier for them to secure another property,’ she added.
She said that from a landlord perspective, it is important to track rents over time, especially if they are letting property to create extra income for retirement. ‘Our analysis shows that on average, although in the long term rents tend to keep up with inflation, since the credit crunch they haven’t been able to do so and rents, on average, are 3.5% below what they were in 2008, despite inflation running at over 3% per year. To ensure income isn’t eroded, landlords need to find ways to increase their rents in line with inflation. To help, landlords can visit their local Belvoir office to find out how to maximise rental income now and into the future,’ she pointed out.
A rental review of the 137 offices that Belvoir is now monitoring shows that rents are stable and only a handful of offices are seeing any rent rises or falls. This is backed up by anecdotal reports from Belvoir offices who say tenants are struggling with little or no wage rises and are therefore making more of an effort to negotiate rental deals.
Although there is little evidence of change in rents this year on a month by month basis, any national average figures really hide what’s happening at a regional level. Rents have grown in areas such as London, the North East,...
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