Save, make, understand money


Average rents in the UK jump 9% year-on-year

Average rents in the UK jump 9% year-on-year
Shekina Tuahene
Written By:
Shekina Tuahene

Average UK private rents increased by 9% in the 12 months to February, the highest annual percentage change since 2015, figures have shown.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, this is an increase from 8.5% in the 12 months to January 2024.

The report continued on to say that in the year to February, average monthly rents went up to £1,276 in England, equal to an 8.8% rise. This is the highest annual rise since the ONS series began in 2006 and is up from 8.3% in January.

Average monthly rents in Wales came to £723, a 9% rise. It is slightly down from 9.1% increase in January and is the third month of slowing annual inflation.

In Scotland, the average monthly rent was £944, a 10.9% jump, but this is a fall from 11.2% in January.

The report said that rents had been slowing since the record rise of 11.8% in August, which was the highest increase since records began in 2012.

In Northern Ireland, rents went up by 9.3% in the 12 months to December, which is down from 9.5% in November.

The report said that, in England, private rent inflation in the 12 months to February 2024 was highest in London at 10.6% and lowest in the North East at 5.7%.

In Great Britain, the average private rent was highest in Kensington and Chelsea at £3,248, and lowest in Dumfries and Galloway at £472.

Figures are ‘shocking but not surprising’

Ben Twomey, chief executive of Generation Rent, said that the figures were “shocking but not surprising”.

He said: “We’ve been feeling the impact of sky-high rents and unaffordable rent increases since 2021 and we have reached the very end of what we can afford.

“As the cost-of-living crisis apparently eases, the cost-of-renting crisis is continuing at pace. Renters are being squeezed to their absolute limit and something has got to give. 9% increases in a year across all tenancies is well above the rate our wages are rising, illustrating how badly renters are protected.”

Twomey continued: “This is not just down to landlords’ costs going up – more than half of privately rented homes have no mortgage attached to them – so clearly landlords are raising the rent just because their tenants have no choice but to pay these prices.

“The government needs to listen to renters and take decisive action to slam the brakes on soaring rents in the worst-hit areas. Outlawing unaffordable rent rises would give renters much-needed breathing space, while the government must get to work building many more affordable and social homes to address the shortage that has caused this.”

In early March, it was reported that the Renters Reform Bill was on the brink of collapse.