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Average private rents see highest rise in nine years – ONS

  • 17/04/2024
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Average private rents see highest rise in nine years – ONS
UK private rent costs rose by 9.2% in the year to March 2024, government figures showed, which was the largest increase since 2015.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed this was higher than the 9% annual uptick recorded in February and a £104 change compared to last year. 

In England, average monthly rents rose by 9.1% to £1,285, which was the largest increase since 2006. There was a 9% jump to £727 for the average monthly rent in Wales, flat on the growth recorded in February and below the record inflation of 9.8% seen in November last year. 

In Scotland, average monthly rents went up by 10.5% to £947 in the year to March, down on February’s annual growth of 10.9%. This was also a slowing from the record high annual increase of 11.8% seen in August last year.  

In Northern Ireland, there was a 10.1% increase in average private rents over the 12 months to January. 


Supply and demand imbalance pushing rent up

Richard Rowntree, managing director of mortgages at Paragon Bank, said: “The increase in private rental inflation is driven by the supply and demand imbalance seen in many parts of the UK. Even though tenant demand has come off the record highs seen last summer, there are still many more tenants than there are properties.  

“With expected strong population growth and household formation in the coming years, the stock of rental homes must be increased to keep pace.” 

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, added: “Rents are still rising albeit a little more gently in response to the continuing imbalance between supply and demand.  

“On the ground, we are finding affordability is the main reason although today’s news that the cost of living is not rising as fast will certainly help tenants, particularly those spending a high proportion of their salary on living costs. 

“Most of our landlords also recognise that a good quality tenant is better than the highest possible rent, even though many are struggling to cover higher tax, mortgage and regulatory costs.” 


London the most expensive place to rent 

The highest average private rent in Britain was recorded in London’s Kensington and Chelsea, where this came to £3,305 a month. The lowest was recorded in Dumfries and Galloway with an average monthly rent of £475. 

London saw the greatest increase in average private rents across England, with a 11.2% rise to £2,055 in the year to March 2024. The lowest private rent inflation was recorded in the North East where there was a 6.1% change to £662 a month. 


Private rent by property type and size 

In Britain, the average private rent was highest for detached properties at £1,446 a month. Meanwhile, flats and maisonettes had the lowest rental prices at £1,211. 

The average rent for larger properties for four or more bedrooms came to £1,912 in March, which was higher than any other property size. One-bed homes had the lowest rent, at an average of £995 a month. 



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