March 2013 Sees PRS Rents up by 0.5%

UK PRS Rents Increase Again

UK PRS Rents Increase Again

UK private rented sector (PRS) rents increased for the first time in five months in March 2013, led by busy regions such as London, according to LSL Property Services. 

The latest figures reveal that average monthly PRS rents rose by 0.5% in March compared with February to reach an average of £735 (GBP). 

London private sector rents surged to a new average high of £1,106 (GBP) per month, following a 1.3% month-on-month increase.

The study, which has been running for five years, is based on rents achieved on 18,000 UK PRS rental properties, show that average rents in the capital are now £81 (GBP) higher year-on-year.

However, the increase in rents has left a greater number of tenants struggling to keep up.

Tenants’ finances worsened to levels not seen since before Christmas 2012, with 8.5% of all rent late or unpaid in March, compared with 7.4% in February.

LSL’s study suggested that last month could mark a turning point for rents, following recent declines.

The letting network believes that PRS rents are likely to continue increasing as tenant demand for rental property continues to outstrip the UK housing supply. 

Director of LSL Property Services, David Newnes, said: “Over the next few months it looks likely the spring bounce will continue. With only modest improvements in the UK’s housing supply, rents will keep being forced upwards.” 

While London saw the strongest rent growth, this was followed by the North East, where rents increased by 0.9% month-on-month to an average of £529 (GBP). Yorkshire and the Humber also recorded one of the biggest monthly rises, up 0.6%, pushing the typical rent in the region to £537 (GBP). Rent increases were also recorded month-on-month in the East Midlands, the South East and the East of England. 

But PRS rents in Wales, the South West, the North West and the West Midlands all saw PRS rents fall when viewed on a month-on-month basis.

The South West recorded the biggest rental price drop, with a 0.5% decrease taking the average rent to £631 (GBP), while Wales saw the second largest fall of 0.4% month-on-month, making an average rent of just £567 (GBP).

The South West was the only region where average rents were lower than they were a year ago, with a 0.2% annual fall. 

The overall positive state of the UK private rental sector and the resilience of the residential property market are enticing many buy to let landlords to continue to add to their rental property portfolios.

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