UK rents have fallen for the first time in eight years with London seeing the most "substantial" dip

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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ents in the UK fell by 0.3 per cent in May compared to the same month a year ago (Source: Getty)

May saw rents in the UK falling for the first time since December 2009, according to Homelet's rental index.

Last month, rents in Britain slipped 0.3 per cent compared to the same month a year ago with the average monthly rent now standing at £901. Five out of 12 regions in the UK reported rental falls.

Rents in London fell three per cent in May compared to May 2016 in what Homelet called "the most substantial fall for eight years". New tenancies on rents in London were three per cent lower than this time last year.

Meanwhile, the north-east of England, the south east, Yorkshire and Humberside, and Scotland registered falls ranging from 2.3 per cent to 0.6 per cent.

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HomeLet’s chief executive, Martin Totty said: “May 2017 saw average rents nationally fall for the first time in eight years when the economy had suffered the shock of the financial crisis.

"Homelet rental data suggests landlords are now facing a difficult balancing act between ensuring rents are affordable for tenants in a low real wage growth environment whilst covering their own rising costs.

“Tenants will still need a vibrant and growing rented sector to provide them with property options at the time of their choosing. Any constraint to the supply of rental properties, because landlords are unable to achieve the reasonable returns they require, cannot be in the long term best interests of tenants, especially if, as we’ve now heard from all the main political parties, the UK’s population continues to grow.”

Read more: Tax changes mean one in five landlords want to hike rent

Rental figures from the May 2017 HomeLet Rental Index


Average rent in May 2017

Average rent in April 2017

Average rent in May 2016

Monthly variation

Annual variation

East Midlands




1.6 per cent

3.3 per cent

North West




0.2 per cent

2.2 per cent

South West




0.2 per cent

2.1 per cent





-0.8 per cent

1.8 per cent

East of England




0.5 per cent

0.6 per cent

Northern Ireland




-0.9 per cent

0.4 per cent

West Midlands




-0.5 per cent

0.3 per cent

Yorkshire & Humberside




-0.7 per cent

-0.6 per cent

South East




-0.4 per cent

-1.5 per cent





-1.6 per cent

-1.9 per cent

North East




-0.7 per cent

-2.3 per cent

Greater London




-1.1 per cent

-3 per cent





-0.3 per cent

-0.3 per cent

UK excluding Greater London




-0.1 per cent

0.5 per cent

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