Rents in London outperform the rest of Britain

RENTS in London rose faster than those in the rest of the country during the year to May, with a 2.2 per cent increase in the capital dragging the average British rent upward.

The average rent across Great Britain went up by 1.3 per cent over the past 12 months, but a significant proportion of the growth in prices is attributed to London alone.

In the rest of the country, prices only rose by 0.8 per cent, the figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics show.

While property prices plunged during the financial crisis, rents were more resilient. Though rents in London slipped through 2009 and 2010, they have since rebounded and seen robust growth. Rents climbed between May 2012 and May 2013 in every English region except the north east, where rents have dipped by 0.1 per cent.

Legal & General’s director of housing and external affairs, Stephen Smith, said: “Whilst landlords are enjoying strong yields from property lets, the younger generation are struggling to keep up”. “Something urgently needs to be done to improve the supply of new housing across the UK to help alleviate this situation”, he added.

A separate study published yesterday demonstrates the winners and losers of the London house market, comparing the value of postcodes with those first laid out on the board game Monopoly almost 80 years ago.

In 1936, the average value of a house on a Monopoly board stood at £208, but 77 years on this figure has leapt to £788,106, according to Halifax.

The highest and lowest average house prices of London’s iconic streets remain Mayfair (£1,426,689) and Old Kent Road (£192,714).

But there has been plenty of movement in between, with Whitehall, for example, moving from the seventh cheapest on the board to the sixth most expensive area to buy at £1.2m.