East of England 'has fastest rising rents'

by Gary Whittaker

The fastest increase in rental rates in England is occurring in the eastern region, new survey data from Your Move has revealed.

Data from Your Move's latest buy-to-let index revealed that the region has seen average rents rise by six per cent to £887 a month in the year to the end of October, driven by demand from commuters in and around small but economically active centres of population such as Cambridge and Norwich. 

Eastern England is close enough to London to be convenient for commuters, yet also offers attractive rural aspects that may appeal to many, with a chance to escape the concrete jungle when the working week is done.

The neighbouring East Midlands saw the second largest increase, up 3.2 per cent to £648, while the north-west was third, rising 3.1 per cent to £633. The figure for England and Wales as a whole was 2.4 per cent.

By contrast, prices were down one per cent in London, although the capital was not alone in seeing a fall; the north-east was down by the same amount. Although affordability might be an issue in London - where monthly rents remain the highest on Britain at £1,276 - this could hardly explain the drop in the north-east, as it is the cheapest region to rent at £535 a month.

Overall, however, the trend demonstrated a regional shift in rental price rises away from London and the south-east, suggesting these may no longer be the best places for landlords to invest in.  

Within London itself, prices varied considerably depending how far properties were from the centre. Those in Travelcard Zone 2 cost £1,965 a month to rent, whereas in Zone 5 the average drops to £1,083.  

The London figures may partly reflect what is happening in the housing market in England, with the latest Hometrack figures revealing most cities have seen prices rise faster in the last 12 months than the three per cent figure for the capital. 

Notably, the only exceptions in England were Newcastle - which was level with London - and Oxford, where prices actually fell after growing by 6.6 per cent in 2016. These would back up the downbeat rental pictures for the north-east and south-east.

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30-November-17General Lettings News