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Private rent prices see record annual growth in June – ONS

  • 20/07/2023
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Private rent prices see record annual growth in June – ONS
The average private rental price in the UK increased by 5.1 per cent annually in June, which is the highest rate of growth since records began.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed this was stronger than the five per cent yearly increase in average private rental prices recorded in May. This was also the largest annual percentage change since it started collecting data in 2016. 

Annual private rental prices rose by 5.1 per cent in England, 5.8 per cent in Wales and 5.5 per cent in Scotland. 

The ONS data for rents in Northern Ireland lag behind the rest of the UK but in the 12 months to April, a 9.6 per cent increase was recorded meaning the country saw the highest level of growth. 

In London, average rents increased by 5.3 per cent which was above the England average and the highest annual rate since September 2012. This was higher than the 5.1 per cent yearly change recorded in the previous month. 

Within England, the West Midlands saw the largest annual rise in average private rental prices, with a 5.4 per cent surge. The lowest rental growth was seen in the North East at 4.4 per cent. 


Supply-demand balance prevails 

A lack of rental supply has been cited as a driver for rental price increases, with the most recent data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) saying that tenant demand stayed strong while new landlord instructions fell. 

Michelle Lawson, director at Lawson Financial, said it was no surprise that rents were continuing to go up. 

She added: “Rents continuing to rise really is no surprise. With rising mortgage costs, increased regulatory costs and the removal of Section 24, landlords cannot absorb these rises anymore and they are naturally having to be passed up the chain.  

“One thing that needs to be understood is landlords should not be vilified nor the sector made any more divisive than it is as they do not do this without just cause as a good tenant is worth their weight in gold.” 

Stuart Crispe, founder at Sunny Avenue, also said the data was “unsurprising”. 

He said: “There is a pronounced shortage of rental supply and always has been. I am surprised the increases aren’t higher given the mortgage rate increases we have had. Landlords, currently, will either be deciding to increase their rents or sell up. Either way, this is only going to further increase rents, putting more pressure on tenants.”  

Rhys Schofield, managing director at Peak Mortgages and Protection, added: “It may be politically convenient to kick landlords from time to time but when demand is up 48 per cent on pre-Covid levels, available stock is like hen’s teeth and with few viable alternatives to private rental for many, it’s clear that we need a healthy buy-to-let market.  

“Rents being forced ever upward certainly doesn’t do tenants any favours and that is the risk faced if we drive landlords out.” 

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