The average cost of a newly-let property in Great Britain rose to £1,041 a month, up 1.4 per cent on last year, with rural not urban properties driving the growth, moved by the shift in tenant preference since the spread of Covid-19.
The average cost of a newly let property in the countryside rose to £919 per calendar month (pcm) in October, up 5.5 per cent, which is more than triple the average rate of growth across Great Britain.
In contrast, rents in cities fell by 5.3 per cent year-on-year to £1,336 pcm. This is a complete reversal from October last year when rents in cities were rising by 6.1 per cent year-on-year and by 0.5 per cent in rural areas. October 2020 rents in smaller towns and suburbs rose 2.2 per cent year-on-year.
There were seven per cent fewer applicants looking to rent in cities last month but availability is up 29 per cent, while rural demand rose four per cent and stock levels are 48 per cent lower than last year.
As a result, nearly half of landlords letting a home in the countryside were able to increase the rent when reletting their buy-to-let with this figure dropping to 35 per cent for landlords in city locations.
On a regional basis, rents outside London continued to accelerate, reaching a record average high of £689 pcm in the North, up 5.9 per cent.
Rents in the South West also increased 5.9 per cent year-on-year, marking the strongest growth since October 2015.
Meanwhile, London and Wales were the only regions where rents fell with the gap between rental growth in inner and outer London widening further.
Rents in outer London rose 3.3 per cent in October, nearing pre-pandemic levels, while rents in inner London fell 14.9 per cent year-on-year.