Cost of renting hits a plateau as UK prices fall only slightly

Michael Bow
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MONTHLY flat and house rents across the UK flatlined last quarter, falling by around half a per cent to rest at £969 per month, figures out today show.

The slight dip for the quarter – pegged at 0.43 per cent – reflected an accelerated 0.25 per cent fall in March after two relatively stable price levels for January and February, figures from the Move with Us rental index reveal today.

Prices advertised for rented property in London fell slightly again for their third quarter in a row, down to £2,181 a month on average for the three months ending March.

“The current quarterly trend suggests that rents could fall further in the coming months, though if this is the case it should be by less than 0.5 per cent,” Move with Us director Robin King said.

“However, the long term trend indicates that advertised rents are more likely to remain at a similar figure, with possible increases close to the rate of inflation.”

Throughout the south east rents were stable, continuing a long run trend seen since August 2012 of rental price stability.

South east rents – which averaged at £1,117 a month for the quarter – saw a two per cent rise in January, offsetting a decline of two per cent in the previous quarter.

Rental prices for the region are now around 4.73 per cent higher than they were in January 2012.

“While advertised rents in London .. fell for a second quarter, the rents in [this] region have now returned to levels close to those of January 2012,” King said.