London rents drag on the UK average as rents nationwide move back into positive territory in a boost for landlords

Tracey Boles
Places to rent (Source: Getty)

Rents in the UK rose by an average of 1.1 per cent during July, new data from HomeLet reveals, a return to positive territory following two successive months in which they fell.

According to the July HomeLet Rental Index, the average rent agreed on a new tenancy signed during the month was £925, compared to £915 in the same month last year.

But Greater London's rental property market continues to act as a brake on the market as a whole, with rental inflation in the capital now running at minus 0.6 per cent according to HomeLet.

July's figure, which compares to a 2.9 per cent drop in June, was the fourth successive month in which London rents fell but the pace of decline is now slowing.

However, the capital's rental market is almost unrecognisable from a year ago, when rents were rising at a rate of 6.6 per cent.

HomeLet’s chief executive Martin Totty said: “At the same stage last year, the South East was the main driver of UK average rents. This time around it’s regions throughout the country leading the strengthening in rents."

Nationwide, HomeLet’s data suggests landlords now feel more confident than in the spring about seeking higher rents on their properties, but also that they remain very aware of tenants’ ability to pay.

Totty said: “It’s often been the case in recent times that rents have strengthened over the summer period. It’s a time when renters contemplate moving, demand increases, tenancy terms are set, and when the anniversary of the tenancy often occurs."

He added: “Whether the market has now found some equilibrium remains to be seen, but landlords at least will be grateful for even some short respite."

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