30 Apr

Rents on the increase

Rents on the increase

New figures show that rents across the UK increased by 2.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

Data from the Office of National Statistics shows private rents were on the up, with a 2.1 per cent rise in England, 2.1 per cent in Scotland and 0.8 per cent in Wales, in the year ending March 2015.

The largest increase in residential rents was seen in London, with tenants having to pay 3.2 per cent more to their landlords.

Matt Hutchinson, director of flat and house share site SpareRoom.co.uk, explained the lack of housing in some areas is causing tenants' costs to rise.

He added:  "We have a chronic shortage of housing in the areas where jobs are being created, so rents continue to rise as supply fails to meet demand. In some areas of London we're seeing up to 13 people compete for every room advertised during peak months."

Many within the property sector are calling on the next government to ensure they put housing at the top of their list of priorities, especially as it is becoming increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to step on to the property ladder.

Steve Bolton, chairman of Platinum Property Partners, said: "Rental demand is growing as first-time buyers struggle to access the housing market and the UK’s workforce becomes increasingly mobile. At the same time, the number of new rental properties is lagging behind, creating a dangerous imbalance between supply and demand that is pushing rental prices upwards."

He called on buy-to-let landlords to consider how they can increase housing stock and recommended that splitting properties into multiple occupation homes could be an important way of tackling the shortage.

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