After a period of rent price rises in London outstripping the rest of the UK, the disparity between the growth rate of the London and nationwide rental markets is beginning to narrow, the latest index shows.
The average rent in the UK is now £899, compared to £889 at the end of January 2015, and £873 in December 2014, according to the HomeLet rental index.
It also shows that average rent prices in London have remained static in the three months to February 2015, versus the wider picture of predominantly rising prices.
Indeed, seven out of 12 regions in the UK have seen rent prices rise in the three months to February 2015, with the North East and South West of England leading the way at 3.1% and 2.5% price growth respectively.
There was also growth in East Anglia, the North West of England, Northern Ireland, the South East of England and Yorkshire and Humber while rental prices have not increased in Greater London and the West Midlands, and have fallen in Wales, the East Midlands and Scotland.
Looking solely at new tenancies commencing in the month of February 2015, prices have increased in the month since January 2015 in several regions, with Northern Ireland rising 7.2%, the North East of England 6.2%, the South West of England 4.5% and East Anglia 3.7%.
In contrast, rents agreed on new tenancies in London in February 2015 have fallen by 2.5% compared to the previous month. Scotland, the East Midlands and Wales have also seen prices agreed on new tenancies fall in February 2015 compared to January 2015.
‘Last year saw the London rental market outstrip the rest of the UK in terms of rent price growth but what we are seeing so far in 2015 is the private rental market becoming much more broad based with the strongest rent price growth occurring outside of the capital. Other regions of the UK such as the South West of England and East Anglia are maintaining the rises achieved in 2014 and continuing to grow,’ said Martin Totty, chief executive officer of Barbon Insurance Group, parent company of HomeLet.
‘The rent price growth seen in London during much of 2014 now appears to be slowing. However a recent survey we conducted with London letting agents has shown that demand for private rental property remains high and still outstrips supply, with 80% of agents saying there are more tenants than properties available,’ he added.