Estate agent finds highest rents on record as market heats again

RENTS in England and Wales are back to record levels, up 2.1 per cent in the year to September, despite wages staying largely stagnant.

The average cost of renting in the two countries now stands at £757 per month, according to LSL Property Services data released today, the highest the group has ever recorded.

Average rents are £13 per month higher than the previous record set in October last year, having risen despite a 9.2 per cent increase in tenancies over the year.

LSL’s index also shows that rents in London are rising at a faster pace than any other region in the country, up by 4.4 per cent over the year to last month, reaching £1,141. The south east (excluding London) has the second-most expensive rents, averaging £787 per month.

Connells, a group of chartered surveyors, confirmed the trend of a dramatic increase in market activity, with a 65 per cent increase in valuations in the 12 months to September. The group also say that surveys by buy-to-let investors are up 77 per cent in the same period.

John Bagshaw, Connells’ corporate services director, said “September has felt like a tipping point... The financial world appears to be at the start of a much sunnier period. In just 12 months, the situation has shifted unrecognisably.”