Buy to let rents are rising at £1 a week but falling in London

Buy to let rent prices are rising on average £1 a week, but falling in London and virtually at a standstill in most cities, says the latest data. The figures come from the Index of Private Housing Rental Prices from the Office of National Statistics.

London is the only place in the country to see rents fall – by 0.2% in the year ending June.

Rents are still rising on average, but hardly at all in many areas.

The biggest rent rise was in the East Midlands, where tenants saw rents increase by 2.8%.

Outside of London, the North East saw the lowest rise of 0.2%, which was double the May increase.

Across the UK, the average annual increase to June was 1% in England, 1.1% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.

The national figure was a 1% annual rent increase.

A 1% rise is the equivalent of a £5 a month increase on a £500 monthly rent charged in June 2017.

The ONS says rents have gradually levelled off since the end of 2015.

“This slowdown in the growth in private rental prices in Great Britain is driven mainly by a slowdown in London over the same period,” says the ONS.

“Between January 2011 and June 2018, private rental prices in Great Britain increased by 15.9%. This was strongly driven by growth in private rents in London. When London is excluded from these figures, private rents increased by 12.5% over the same period.”

The report also cited data from The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which explained that tenant demand has stayed at the same level for five consecutive months and that landlords are advertising fewer buy to let homes for rent.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) suggested more private rented homes are available to rent now than in previous months, but the supply is still too low.

The ONS compiles rental data from 450,000 private homes for the index. Read the full report here.