Unprecedented Rent Increases as the UK’s Rental Supply Dwindles

In a surprising turn of events, the average rent for newly let properties in the UK has soared to a record-breaking £1,273 per month in June, as reported by Hamptons.

This staggering figure indicates an increase of £110 per month or 9.4 percent compared to the same period last year, marking the sixth most robust annual rise in rent since the agency started keeping records in 2014.

For the average tenant, this translates to an extra burden of £1,315 per year compared to the expenses of those who moved into new homes in the preceding year.

Strikingly, the average rent for one-bedroom homes in Great Britain surpassed the £1,000 per month threshold for the first time in May, escalating by 11.1 percent year-on-year to an average of £1,017 per month. This implies that the typical one-bedroom dwelling now costs the same as the average two-bedroom property did merely 15 months ago, back in April 2022.

Furthermore, the average rental cost for a two-bedroom property stands at £1,170 per month, which is equivalent to what a three-bedroom property cost back in January 2022. Both two and three-bedroom homes have seen similar rental growth rates, with increases of 10.9 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

The escalating rental trend isn't confined to specific regions; it has been observed across all areas. However, the pace of growth seems to have subsided slightly in Greater London and Scotland, where rents had been surging the most, along with the East of England. Notably, rents in the North of England, much like Greater London, witnessed a double-digit surge in June.

Curiously, this is the fourth instance on record when rents in the three Northern regions (North East, North West, and Yorkshire and The Humber) have witnessed growth exceeding 10 percent, all within the last 24 months.

According to Aneisha Beveridge, the head of research at Hamptons, the overarching rise in rents suggests that the shrinking supply of available rental properties and increasing landlord costs are the primary drivers behind the surge. Additionally, the elevated mortgage rates have squeezed out potential first-time buyers, thus amplifying rental demand.

Beveridge further explains that while the number of households seeking to rent has remained relatively stable compared to 2019, there has been a sharp decline of 47 percent in available rental homes. This combination of factors, including the likelihood of prolonged higher interest rates and fewer new landlords entering the market, indicates that these rental pressures are likely to persist in the foreseeable future.

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