Rents in Britain rose by on average 2.4% in 2017, up from 2016’s figure of 1.8% – as the proportion of housing bought by landlords hit a nine-year low of just 12.5%.
A study by Countrywide showed that rental growth picked up speed last year; the average month by December 2017 was £960 a month, up £23 from the same time a year ago. Excluding London, average rent sat at £768 – up £15, or 2%.
This year, London had the fastest rate of growth of all of England’s regions, rising by 3.2% as opposed to 2016’s fall of 0.8%. Scotland managed to register faster growth than even the capital, at 3.3%.
This rise appears to be a result of both increased tenants and a drop in landlords buying properties; only 12.5% were bought by landlords in 2017, in contrast to 14.7% in 2016 and 16.3% in 2015 – the lowest it’s been for nine years. London saw the largest fall by region – where 5,400 fewer homes were bought to let in 2017.
As a result, the amount of homes available to rent dropped by 4% nationwide compared to December 2016, and a massive 21% in London.
Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, said:
“Last year saw the rate of rental growth pick up to get closer to its long-term average. Most of the rise comes from a pickup in rental growth in London, after falls in 2016. Rents rose across every region of Great Britain last year, although the north of England saw rents rise at a slower rate than they did in 2016.
“Rental growth has been supported by a fall in the number of homes on the rental market, with the biggest fall in London. It looks like increased competition between tenants for rental homes will drive faster rental growth in 2018.”