Rents ‘grew 3% in 2014’

(19/01/15)

The average private rent in the UK increased by three per cent over the course of last year.

This is according to the latest research from Your Move and Reeds Rains, which found the typical costs of a rental property in England and Wales stood at £767 in December 2014, compared to £745 one year earlier. Despite this, rents actually dropped by 0.1 per cent between November and December.

Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, stated: “Recent months have shown a divergence from usual seasonal norms. Historically, there is a tendency for rents to ease in the winter, particularly in December.

“With fewer tenants willing to relocate in the festive period, landlords usually compete to fill empty properties and agreed rents tend to dip as a result. Last month, that happened and rents fell compared to November, but by much less than the usual extent.”

On a regional basis, eight out of the ten areas assessed by the study saw average rents increase over the course of last year. The greatest rise was in the east of England, where the cost of rental properties was up 7.6 per cent, Property Wire reports.

This was followed by the East Midlands (6.2 per cent), London (4.1 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (3.4 per cent). Only the north-east and south-west saw a fall in rents, with drops of 2.1 per cent and one per cent recorded respectively.

When it comes to tenant finances, arrears averaged 7.5 per cent of total rent in 2014, which is down from 8.1 per cent a year earlier. However, from November to December, this figure rose from 7.5 per cent to 8.9 per cent.

Mr Gill said that while December is often a financially-testing month for many people and this setback is to be expected, the overall figures for 2014 show last year can be considered a success in terms of the overall security of renters.