Rent rises accelerate in February
-Rents across England and Wales rise by 1.6% in twelve months to February
-After first month-on-month rise since October, rents now average £743 per month
-Seven in ten regions see higher rents in February than January
-Second best month on record for tenant finances as proportion of late rent falls to 6.9%
-Landlords earn average annual return of 9.7% (or over £16,000) over last twelve months
Annual rent rises across England and Wales have accelerated, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from LSL Property Services plc, which owns Your Move.
As of February, the average rent across England and Wales is now 1.6% higher than twelve months ago, currently standing at £743 per month.
This is the fastest annual increase since November 2013, and compares with a year-on-year rise of 1.4% in January this year.
On a monthly basis, rents increased by 0.1% (or approximately £1) between January and February. This represents the first month-on-month increase in residential rents since October 2013.
Seven out of ten regions saw rents rise on a monthly basis between January and February, in line with the monthly increase across England and Wales as a whole.
The sharpest monthly rises were seen in Yorkshire & the Humber and the West Midlands, where in both regions rents rose by 1.2% on a monthly basis. The next fastest monthly rise was in Wales, with a 1.0% increase, while the East Midlands saw rents rise 0.6% between January and February.
Of the three regions to see a monthly fall in rents, the fastest drop was in the South East, down by 1.5% since January. Meanwhile rents fell by 0.6% on a monthly basis in the East of England, and by 0.1% in the North West.
Monthly rents in February: By region
A majority of regions also saw higher rents on an annual basis. The South West saw the quickest rise, up 4.7% from February 2013. This was followed by 3.1% in London and annual rent increase of 2.2% in the North West.
By contrast, rents in the East of England now average 3.1% less than a year ago, followed by a 2.3% annual drop for Wales and a 1.9% annual fall in the West Midlands.