Government data reveals social and affordable rents on the rise

  • 28/01/2020
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Government data reveals social and affordable rents on the rise
Local authority average weekly rents grew in all but one English region last year, the latest government data on rents, lettings and tenancies has revealed.


Across England, average weekly social and affordable rents rose by 0.9 per cent to £85.97 in the fiscal year ending 31st March 2019, compared to 2017-18.

Average rent grew fastest in the East Midlands, rising 1.2 per cent to £74.14 a week. This was followed by the South East, up 1.1 per cent to £92.02.

In the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber rents increased by 0.8 per cent, to £73.79 and £72.58 respectively.

These were followed by the East of England, up 0.7 per cent to £89.57, the West Midlands, up 0.6 per cent to £79.00 and in London, rents rose 0.5 per cent to £105.72.

Rent in the North West was flat at £74.72 year-on-year and the South West saw the only decline, down 0.1 per cent to £80.23.

The rents recorded for Private Registered Provider (PRP) housing in England rose by 0.5 per cent to £95.12 in 2018-19. A regional breakdown for PRP rents wasn’t provided.

The longer-term view showed local authority rents in 2018-19 had risen 33.9 per cent compared to a decade earlier in 2008-09. And rent had more than doubled, up 103.5 per cent, since 1998-99.

For PRP housing, rents were up by 29.4 per cent compared to 2008-09 and by 83.2 per cent against 1998-99.


Tenant waiting lists

The data showed the number of households on local authority housing lists hit 1.2m in 2018-19, up from 1.1m in 2017-18. The number was down from 1.8m in 2008-09.

London recorded the biggest number of households on local authority waiting lists at 243,551. The North West came next, at 203,323, followed by Yorkshire and The Humber with 148,076.

The government figures revealed a steady fall in proportion of local authority-owned dwellings let by the local authority. Lets as a proportion of local authority stock hit 6.7 per cent in 2018-19, down from 6.8 per cent in 2017-18. These percentages were lower again compared to 8.3 per cent in 2008-09.

“The decreasing number of lettings is associated with local authorities transferring their stock to private registered providers (PRPs) through large scale voluntary transfers (LSVT), Right to Buy (RTB) and other sales, and demolitions,” said the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. At the same time, the number of local authority-owned lets added each year has declined steadily since records began in 2000-01.

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