Mixed news on private sector rents
Friday 8th March 2019
Conflicting news on the direction of travel for private rents is emerging with different bodies reporting either above-inflation increases, or small falls as worries over the impact of Brexit continues to dominate.
Data from the property website Rightmove showed rent levels continuing to rise. They report average asking rents in London hit an all-time high of £2.034 in the fourth quarter of 2018 as the number of available properties dwindled.
Compared with year earlier, the number of properties available to rent is down 22 per cent.
Rightmove is predicting that rents will rise four per cent in London this year and by three per cent outside the capital.
But according to figures from the Deposit Protection Scheme, rents across Britain fell in 2018 for the first time in a decade, offering relief for tenants after year of inflation-busting rises.
The sting in the tail for tenants is that while the DPS recorded rent falls nationally over the first nine months of 2018, it began to see a small uptick in the final three months of the year.
Landlords said demand from EU nationals had slowed, but insisted rents would have to rise in 2019 to claw back money lost though buy-to-let tax changes and the letting fees ban, which comes into force in June.
RICS has warned that with demand outstripping the supply of rental properties, rents could increase in 2019 by an average of two percent. To counterbalance this uncertainties around the impact of Brexit and their impact on house prices, could encourage longer tenancies and fewer rent increases.