LONDON rents surged to their highest ever level in March, according to figures released yesterday.
After a 1.3 per cent rise from February, they hit a record of an average £1,106 per month, LSL Property Services figures showed, 7.9 per cent higher than they were a year earlier.
This came as part of a 4.2 per cent average annual climb across England and Wales, LSL said in a separate release out this morning. This brought the England and Wales average monthly rent bill to £735 per month.
“Winter staged a last-ditch counter offensive in March,” said LSL commercial director David Brown. “But in spite of the weather the rental market has gained some ground.”
Meanwhile separate HSBC research, also out this morning, found that Southampton was the UK’s top buy-to-let hotspot, with average rents the highest fraction of average property prices recorded in any location across the country.
With its average property worth £138,311 and an average rent of £901, Southampton has a gross rental yield of 7.82 per cent, HSBC said, the highest in the country.
This puts it ahead of Blackpool, where houses are £75,943 and rents £494, and Kingston upon Hull, where houses fetch £69,519 and rents average £450.
Manchester, Nottingham, Coventry, Slough, Oxford, Liverpool and Portsmouth round out the rest of the top ten UK places by buy-to-let yield, HSBC said. The top London area for buy-to-let investment is Southwark, which places 13th, the HSBC figures show, with a yield of 6.15 per cent.
But investors are having trouble getting the finance needed via traditional methods, according to separate figures from peer-to-peer lender West One Loans. According to its research 36 per cent of mortgage brokers cite buy-to-let as the most popular driver of bridging loans, up from 23 per cent last August.