Average Rent in the UK: Insights for Tenants and Landlords

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The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 26, 2024

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Average Rent in the UK: Insights for Tenants and Landlords

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The rental market in the UK is always shifting, so both tenants and landlords must stay informed about average rental prices and the factors that influence them.

The average rent for new leases in the UK has climbed to £1,223, marking a 7.2% increase compared to last year. That means UK tenants are now paying an additional £960 annually (or £80 monthly) compared to 12 months ago.

Let’s have a look at the average rent in the UK!

Table of Contents

Current Average Rental Rates in the UK

In the first quarter of 2024, the average monthly rent in the UK stood at approximately £1,072. This figure mirrors the ongoing developments in the national rental market, where landlords have adjusted their rates upward. This adjustment reflects a disparity between tenant demand and the availability of rental properties in the private sector, coupled with rising inflationary pressures and changes in property ownership benefits.

Average Rent by Region

Here are the current average monthly rents for new lets across UK regions, along with their changes over the past year:

  • London: £2,121 (4.2% increase, £90 more compared to last year)
  • South East: £1,325 (8.7% increase, £110 more compared to last year)
  • Eastern: £1,163 (8.4% increase, £90 more compared to last year)
  • South West: £1,077 (8.2% increase, £80 more compared to last year)
  • West Midlands: £905 (7.9% increase, £70 more compared to last year)
  • Wales: £881 (9.5% increase, £80 more compared to last year)
  • East Midlands: £860 (8.7% increase, £70 more compared to last year)
  • North West: £848 (9.0% increase, £70 more compared to last year)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber: £799 (7.1% increase, £50 more compared to last year)
  • Scotland: £793 (9.9% increase, £70 more compared to last year)
  • Northern Ireland: £735 (2.6% increase, £20 more compared to last year)
  • North East: £695 (9.9% increase, £60 more compared to last year)

Factors Influencing Rental Prices in the UK

Several factors play significant roles in influencing rental prices:

Supply and Demand Dynamics

The balance between the number of rental properties available and the demand from tenants is crucial. When demand outstrips supply, rental prices tend to rise as landlords can command higher rents.

Economic Factors

Earnings growth and the overall strength of the job market influence rental prices. A robust job market with increasing wages can support higher rental costs, as tenants have more financial capacity to afford rent increases.

Interest Rates and Mortgage Market

Changes in mortgage rates can indirectly affect rental prices. Higher mortgage rates can deter potential first-time buyers from purchasing homes, increasing demand for rental properties and pushing up rents.

Government Policies and Regulations

Changes in housing policies, such as regulations affecting landlords or incentives for first-time buyers, can impact the rental market dynamics and rental prices.

Local Market Conditions

Factors specific to local areas, such as housing supply constraints, economic growth rates, and demographic trends, also influence rental prices regionally.

The Impact of the Pandemic on the UK Rental Market

In recent months, there has been a sharp rise in rents across the UK rental market, excluding London and Northern Ireland. This increase has placed significant financial strain on many tenants, exacerbated by rising living costs and economic instability from factors such as furloughs and student debt.

According to a report from the HomeLet Rental Index, between May and September 2022, the number of homes being rented decreased by 5.3% compared to 2019, highlighting the profound impact of COVID-19 on this sector. Despite these challenges, nine out of ten renters continue to meet their financial obligations, demonstrating remarkable resilience within the renting community.

Strategies Employed by Renters to Mitigate Higher Rental Costs

To mitigate the impact of higher rents, renters are adopting several strategies:

Staying Put in Current Homes

Some renters are avoiding the steepest rent increases by remaining in their current residences. Year-on-year rent rises for existing tenancies have increased at a slower pace, as reported by the Office for National Statistics.

Considering Smaller Homes

When faced with higher rents and limited housing availability, renters are often opting for smaller properties. This choice helps to reduce rental costs while accommodating their budget constraints.

Moving to Cheaper Areas

Renters are exploring more affordable areas where rental prices may be lower, enabling them to maintain their housing within budgetary limits.

House-Sharing

Sharing accommodation with others is becoming a common strategy to reduce housing costs per person. However, this often means compromising on privacy and living space.

Data from the Resolution Foundation indicates that private renters have experienced a significant 16% reduction in floor space per person over the past two decades, reflecting the trade-off between cost savings and living conditions in the rental market.

What’s Next for the UK Rental Market?

The rental market has peaked in terms of rental increases, with signs of cooling since late 2023.

The forecast suggests that rental inflation in the UK will ease to around +5% in 2024. However, affordability won’t necessarily get better as earnings growth is predicted to slow down.

The persistent lack of new investment in rental properties means supply will stay below normal levels, keeping rents up. Nonetheless, the slower pace of increases will come as a relief to tenants who’ve dealt with substantial hikes over the past couple of years.

Renting vs Buying Property: What to Consider 

Renting and buying property in the UK each have their own merits and downsides. Renting offers flexibility and avoids the financial commitments of owning real estate. It's ideal for those who value mobility and don't want to tie themselves down with property ownership. However, owning a property provides security and the potential for capital growth, which can lead to long-term financial benefits, including tax advantages.

Owning a property does require a substantial initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs. On the other hand, renting over the long term can be more costly compared to the stability and potential wealth accumulation that ownership offers.

Conclusion 

Staying informed about market trends, rental prices, and average figures in the UK rental sector is crucial for tenants and landlords alike. Understanding government regulations and having access to relevant resources can empower individuals to make well-informed decisions whether they are renting or buying property, each option having its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at expert@houst.com. For guest inquiries, reach out at guest@houst.com. We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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