wealth rent rise north-west

North-west sees biggest rent hikes as UK average cost rises by 4%

Rental costs are increasing across the country, led by the north-west as its rental market continues to see strong demand from tenants.

Proptech company Goodlord has released its latest rental index showing how rental prices have risen across the country over the past month. Tenants in England can expect to pay an average of £1,006.85 for a property as of March, compared to £969.02 in February; a rise of 4.01%.

And it is the north-west that has seen the biggest rise, according to the research, where rents have sprung up by 6.36% on average over the past month. This means tenants are now paying an average of £819.84 per month, up from £770.82 in February.

Greater London appears to be coming back into favour among renters, too, with rents being pushed up by around 4.39% over the past month, from £1,609.05 to £1688.37; more than double what you would expect to pay in the north-west.

Cost of living: save money in north-west

The cost of living crisis is a huge concern right now, with sky-rocketing energy bills and fuel prices hitting millions of households. Accommodation costs are often people’s biggest monthly outgoing.

However, statistics show that the average salary for England’s tenants also increased during March, by 2.7%. While this is of course lower than the percentage rent rise, it will make a difference to renters. The average salary now sits at £29,549 for the country’s tenants.

On average, buyers can expect to pay around £232,000 for a property in the north-west. This is still well below the UK average, despite the fact that the region has seen some of the biggest house price increases in recent months.

Manchester, Liverpool and the surrounding areas are all hugely popular hotspots for property investors and tenants alike. While offering ever-improving employment prospects, the locations also offer better value than areas in the south-east and around London, which is another draw for people looking to buy and rent there.

Landlords seeing shorter void periods

Buy-to-let landlords need to consider potential void periods when working out the prospective return on investment of a rental property. While empty periods sometimes cannot be avoided, landlords who can keep tenants in their properties for longer will see the least rent lost through properties sitting vacant.

According to Goodlord’s research, void periods have fallen in every region across the country apart from the East Midlands, with an average fall of -11.1% across England.

Landlords in the West Midlands have fared the best, with a -27.3% fall in void periods, from 22 days to just 16. In Greater London, the average amount of time a home sits empty has dropped by -15.4%, from 13 days to 11, demonstrating the highly competitive rental market there.

The north-west has also seen a drop of -11.1%, from 18 days to 16 days. Along with rent increases, this means buy-to-let landlords will be able to reap healthy returns from their rental properties right now.

Keep landlords in the sector

In recent months, demand among tenants for rental homes in the north-west has soared, while available property has fallen to record lows, meaning buy-to-let property is now in high demand.

There has been evidence of dwindling numbers of buy-to-let landlords in the market, and many in the industry are calling on government action to encourage rather than deter landlords, due to the vital accommodation they offer to the country’s huge renting population.

Tom Mundy, COO at Goodlord, said: “March was a really big month for the market. We’re now back to the rental costs and void periods seen last summer, when the sector was last breaking records.

“Over the last month, rents have jumped up quite significantly and voids are much lower than they have been all winter. This is all indicative of high demand and low supply. It’s a reminder of the need to keep as many landlords in the sector as possible, to ensure demand can be met.

“These numbers also point to the fact that rising rents will add an additional burden to renters as the cost of living crisis continues to affect all aspects of the economy, despite the accompanying rise in average salary per tenant.”

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