Average rents tip under £800 in time for Christmas
It may not feel like much of a Christmas present to the nation’s tenants, but average rents across England and Wales fell 0.9% to below £800 in November, according to the latest Buy-to-Let Index from Your Move and Reeds Rains.
Average rents now stand at £799 per month. This follows a month-on-month fall of 1.2% – down from September’s all-time record high of £816.
However, the longer-term picture is more bleak, as rents have risen considerably over the course of the last twelve months. Across England & Wales annual rent rises stand at 4.0%, comparing November 2015 with November 2014. Taking into account CPI inflation of 0.1%, this leaves real-terms annual rent rises of 3.9%.
The increase in rents has directly affected tenant finances, with a corresponding rise in arrears. After dropping from a previous peak of 9.9% of all rent payable in August, to 7.9% as of October, rent arrears have risen once more to reach 8.2% as of November 2015.
Adrian Gill, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, said: “Rents are cooling – and this presents a winter window of opportunity. As Christmas approaches, savvy tenants looking to move are taking the chance to negotiate a better deal in the off-peak lettings market.
“But beneath the surface the private rented sector is still warming. Two and a half years ago we predicted rents breaking through £800 in mid-2015. This became reality in July 2015 when average rents soared through that boundary in a string of new records. Winter will be a pause. But spring is coming.”