Buy to Let index

February 2018 - Strong start to the year for the England and Wales rental market

Fast Facts

  • Rents have increased by 2.5% in the last year.

  • Average rent is now £829 per month.

  • Only two regions, London and the North East, saw a price fall.

  • Yield levels stabilised at the start of 2018.

Quick Quotes

Martyn Alderton, National Lettings Director for letting agents Your Move and Reeds Rain, comments:

“The new year has started in a positive fashion for the rental market in England and Wales, with prices rising on average by 2.5% to £829.”

“Only London and the North East saw prices fall, with every other area seeing rises year on-year.”

“While 2017 saw the yields achieved by landlords continue to be squeezed, landlords can begin to feel confident in the market as yield levels have stabilised in all areas.”

“With more tenants seeing renting as a long term option, landlords, with their letting agent’s support, should identify features to encourage longer tenancies. For example, our recent tenant survey has found that more than a quarter of tenants would pay on average £24 more a month to live with their pets. Tenants are also prepared to pay more for communal living extras, such as a shared garden, childcare facilities or a gym.”

Key insights

  • While the strongest growth has been seen in southern areas in recent years, rents in the North West and East Midlands grew faster than anywhere else in the last year, with the typical monthly rent in these regions 2.9% higher than 12 months ago.

  • Across England and Wales rents (seasonally adjusted) grew by 2.5% in the year to January, reaching an average of £853.

  • Prices have risen in eight out of the ten regions surveyed. London and the North East were the only regions to see a fall.

  • This headline figure of £829 masks stark regional differences. London, the most expensive region, boasted an average monthly rent of £1,276 compared to £534 in the North East.

  • Looking at the data on a non seasonally adjusted basis, the average rent for all of England and Wales this month was £829 - 3.4% higher than a year ago.

On the ground insight: North West. Vicki Cullen, Area Lettings Manager comments:

  • “Demand in Manchester and East Lancashire remains strong due to the easily accessible commuter and public transport links. The variety of local schools, makes the area popular with families. In addition large businesses, including local hospitals and universities, also boost employment opportunities.”

  • “The most popular type of housing is either a 3-bed semi, or a modern 3 to 4 bed detached and those with gardens and garages are always in high demand. We are seeing tenants becoming increasingly interested in the presentation of the house as they expect value for money and good quality homes to rent. A modern kitchen or bathroom will always make a property more appealing and consequently, easier to secure a tenant in a shorter timescale.”

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