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Annual rents fall for the first time in a decade

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The total amount of rent paid by tenants in Great Britain fell for the first time in over a decade last year, driven by a drop in the number of households renting and rental growth stagnating, data shows.

Private tenants in the UK paid £59.1bn on rent in 2018, around £1.9bn less than the previous year, according to the latest research by Hamptons International.

However, over the last 10 years the total rent bill has increased by £29.9bn in Great Britain.

The report showed that during this period the number of households privately renting has grown by 1.7m or 5%, meanwhile rents have increased by 12.4%.

Regional overview

Nine out of 11 regions in Great Britain saw a fall in their total rent bill over the last year.

The East Midlands and the North East were the only regions to see a rise, while London saw the biggest drop off in the total amount of rent paid by tenants.

Tenants in the capital paid £20.6bn in rent in 2018, £0.62bn less than 2017.

However, over the last 10 years the rental bill increased in every region. The biggest rise in the amount of rent paid by tenants was in London where the total rental bill grew by £10.53bn over the 10-year period.

After London, tenants in the South East and the East saw their rental bills rise the most, standing at £14.19bn and £3.05bn respectively.

Meanwhile Wales saw the smallest rise in the total amount of rent paid by tenants over the last decade, up £0.07bn.

Rental growth

The rate of rental growth has slowed over the last 12 months in Great Britain. In January, the average cost of a new let rose 0.6% year-on-year compared with 2.4% in January 2018.

London led the slowdown over the last year, but rents have gradually started to rise again. The average cost of a new let in the capital rose 0.6% year-on-year in January.  Meanwhile the South East and South West both recorded rents falling -0.5% year-on-year.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said that over the last 12 months rental growth in Great Britain has slowed.

She added: “Rental growth has fallen from 2.4% in January 2018 to 0.6% last month.

“The slowdown over the last year was mainly driven by London, but rents are now gradually starting to rise again in the capital.  Meanwhile the South East and South West both recorded falling rents last month.”

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