Average monthly rent rises to £861 in August

Private rents increased by 2.6% annually across England and Wales in August as demand from tenants remained strong, according to an index.

The average monthly rent was £861 in August, Your Move’s rental tracker found.

The index, which is based on analysis of around 20,000 properties, said rents are increasing fastest in the South West of England.

Rents in the South West increased by 0.52% month on month in August to reach £686 on average, with the popularity of the region’s rural areas as well as Bristol helping to push rents higher, according to the index.

Rental prices in the South West grew by 4.1% annually. The next strongest performer was the East Midlands, where prices grew by 2.7% year on year to reach £656.

Despite the general upward direction in rents – three areas – London, the North East and Wales – saw the average rent charged to tenants fall in the past year.

The average London rent fell by 1.4% annually to £1,271. Despite this, the capital remains by far the most expensive place to rent in the country, the index said.

In the North East, the average rent fell 0.7% in the year to August to reach £535. In Wales, the average rent was £588 in August, following a 0.1% fall.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move, said: “Regionally, the market remains strong, with demand in the core market of two and three-bed properties remaining high.”

He continued: “It appears that there is less rental stock available this year compared to the same time last year.

“Whilst this could be the result of tenants staying in their rental properties longer or of landlords choosing to exit the market in light of recent legislative changes – it is also true that properties are letting more quickly than they were a year ago, giving the impression of fewer properties available to rent.”

The index also found that, despite the growth in rental prices, tenants’ finances remained stable.

The survey found that 9.7% of all tenants were behind with their payments in August, the same percentage as in July.

The all-time high for the index of 14.6% of tenancies in arrears was recorded in February 2010, while the most recent high of 13.7% was found in July 2017.

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