Rents rise in England and Wales, says survey
Rents in London rose again to hit a new high for the second month in succession, according to figures from an estate agency network.
LSL Property Services’ buy-to-let index, released today, shows rents in London rose 0.9 per cent to £1,047 per month from May to June this year.
The average rent in England and Wales also went up by 0.9 per cent to £718 per month from May to June, rising for the third month in a row and just shy of the £720 per month record in October 2011.
The biggest hike was in Wales with rents increasing by 2 per cent to £545, followed by the north west and west midlands where rents rose by 1.7 per cent to £579 and £561 respectively.
David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, said: ‘The sheer weight of tenant demand continues to push up rents across the country. Lending criteria remains tight and the number of mortgages given to first-time buyers – especially those without substantial deposits – is still a long way from the level seen before the credit crunch.’
He added: ‘The rental market tends to see a flurry of activity at this time of year as tenants look to move before the onset of summer holidays, but this trend has been exacerbated – especially in London – by tenants moving with urgency to secure properties ahead of the disruption of the Olympics.’
Campbell Robb, chief executive of homelessness charity Shelter, said: ‘For renters, this is yet another cloud in the gathering storm.
‘Rising rents at a time when wages are flat-lining mean that many families are reaching crisis point, cutting back on food and other essentials just to make ends meet.’
Prime minister David Cameron told parliament at the start of the year that rents had come down as a result of welfare reforms but Inside Housing research revealed that was incorrect. Of 204 local authorities that responded to a survey using freedom of information requests, just 36 reported any rent reductions in return for direct payment of local housing allowance.
It was revealed in April that Newham Council had written to 1,179 housing organisations, some as far away as Stoke-on-Trent, because it claimed it could no longer afford to house up to 500 tenants in private rented sector accommodation in its borough.
The LSL Property buy-to-let index is based on analysis of about 18,000 properties across England and Wales.