However, according to the latest monthly rental index from lettings agent servicer HomeLet, rents only rose in three of the UK’s 12 regions last month – Wales (+4.1%), Scotland (+1.7%) and Greater London (+1.6%).
The average rent in the North West fell by 1.4% last month, but at £649 per month it is still up 4.5% more expensive than the same time last year.
Discounting London, the average UK rent is now £649 per month.
The average London rent is now 92.1% higher than the rest of the country, standing at £1,337 per month.
Gary Abraham, HomeLet’s sales and marketing director, said:
“This month’s HomeLet Rental Index data shows the average cost of renting a home in the UK has increased once again. This is somewhat deceiving though, as only three of our twelve regions actually saw their average rental amount rise.
“When we look at these nine regions, the North East was home to the largest monthly and annual decreases. It remains the least expensive region to rent a property in the UK, and has been since June 2013.
“The average amount a tenant earns in the North East has also seen monthly and annual decreases. After lowering by 7.7% during September, and 11.7% from September 2012, to £20,000 per annum, on average the North East is home to lowest earning tenants. When a 3% pension contribution and student loan is taken into consideration, tenants in this region could still be paying around 40.2% of their net income on rent.
“This may seem a high percentage – however, when this is compared to what tenants in Greater London spend, those in the Capital appear to have far less disposable income than those in the North East.
“With an average annual income of £36,000, Greater London tenants earn 56% more than those in the North East. When we take into account this month’s record rental amount of £1,337 per month, typical pension contributions and student loans though, a tenant renting on their own could spend a substantial 66.7% of their net income on their rent.
“Therefore, although their North East counterparts appear to be less well off, tenants in Greater London are feeling the pinch far more as a result of the Capital’s spiralling rents – which are 163.2% more expensive than in the North East – and almost twice as much as the rest of the UK’s average (when the Greater London figure is removed).
“The Government’s recent announcement for a proposed tenants’ charter is a positive step for the lettings industry as it shows how the rental market is now being accepted as a way of life for a large proportion of our population. However, if plans to help tenants live in rented homes for longer are to come to fruition, the issue of spiralling rents must be addressed.
“This month’s data shows average rents have decreased during September – but, they increased during the past year by 5.6%. In contrast, the average amount a tenant in the UK earns increased by just 2.2%.
“These higher rents could be the result of many factors, such as increasing demand, dwindling supply and mortgage lenders not allowing landlords to offer long-term fixed periods in their tenancy agreements.
“Therefore the proposals for a focus on building more homes to rent out as part of longer-term, family friendly and fixed rate tenancy agreements will particularly benefit tenants who may otherwise be soon priced out of the rental market.”
Click here to read the full report.