London leads way in new HomeLet rent data

Rents in London rose by the most in the UK in the year to December, according to new figures released by HomeLet.

The average rent in the capital now stands at £1,596, an increase of 4.7% over the same month a year earlier. The figure for London outstrips the national growth of 1.5%, while three of the 12 regions surveyed recorded falls over the same period.

The average national rent now stands at £921 per month, but as ever the capital skews the national picture. Once London is taken out of the equation, the national rent is £763, a figure that is 0.7% up on the previous year. Wales, the East and north-east of England recorded annual falls with the latter region recording the lowest average rent of £520 per month, although this was slightly up on a monthly basis.

Capital data breakdown

Looking more closely at the data for London reveals that rents rose the most in the capital’s two most expensive districts. The City of Westminster leads the way, with an average rent of £2.444, 11.9% higher than a year earlier. Chelsea, Fulham, Hammersmith and Kensington are next at, £2,139 but rents rose faster in the west London boroughs at 16.9%

Further down the scale, rents in Haringey and Islington also rose by 11.9% to £1,725 while in the next borough to the east, Hackney and Newham, they went up by 9.9% to £1,529. Rents went down in four London boroughs, with Camden and City of London leading the way with 7.2% although the average still stands at £1,831.

Martin Totty, the property referencing firm’s chief executive, described HomeLet’s findings as ‘positive’ but saw supply and rule changes as areas of concern for 2019.

“Private residential landlords will continue to play a key role in the wider UK housing market,” Mr Totty said. “Whilst the outlook for property investors remains positive, one of the key concerns for the market in 2019 would be a potential lack of supply in certain regions.

“The government’s squeeze on private landlords via taxation changes and more regulation could discourage their continued participation in this important sector. Unlike the trends we saw in 2018, any reduction in supply could lead to rental increases that are above the rate of consumer inflation.”

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