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Buy To Let

The best and worst areas for rental growth in England

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Look East for rental growth, but avoid parts of London, where rental price inflation is slowing.

Leicester is the strongest rental riser in England with 3.02% growth in the last 12 months, while Kensington and Chelsea is the biggest ‘rental faller’ with a drop of 1.40%, according to Landbay.

The average rent in England is now £1,232 a month, an annual growth rate of 0.64%. But falling rents in half of the London boroughs (17 out of 33) continue to weigh down on otherwise resilient rental growth in the rest of England (1.19%).

Rental hotspots

Hotspots for rental growth over the last 12 months include Leicester (3.02%), Nottingham (2.96%) and Northamptonshire (2.44%), with eight of the top 10 ‘rental risers’ situated in either the East Midlands or East of England.

The two regions, as well as the South West, continue to lead the way in terms of rental growth, with annual increases of 2.06%, 1.50%, and 1.54% respectively.

Buy-to-let ‘notspots’

Six London boroughs feature in the UK’s bottom 10 ‘rental fallers’ over the past year, including Kensington and Chelsea (-1.40%), Kingston upon Thames (-0.98%), Hammersmith and Fulham (-0.81%), Tower Hamlets (-0.79%), Barnet (-0.69%) and Harrow (-0.68%), and in total, half of the London boroughs (17 out of 33) have seen rents fall year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Bexley (1.37%), Havering (1.30%) and City of London (1.19%) have all seen rents rise by more than 1%, with just six boroughs exhibiting growth ahead of the 0.64% average in England.

The average rent paid for a property in England now stands at £1,232, or £768 if you exclude London. The lowest average rent is found in the North East (£552), where rents have shown very modest long-term growth over the past five years, increasing by just 1.8% during this time. Despite a year-on-year increase of 0.26%, rents in the North East have been falling since the start of 2018.

John Goodall, CEO of Landbay said: “Falling rents in some parts of the country, especially expensive prime London locations, distort the picture for the rest of England where rents are continuing to grow at a steady pace. Britain will always need homes, and the growing cohort of people who can’t buy, or don’t want to, will more than ever rely on the private rental sector to house them in the years ahead.

“Rental growth may not be what it used to be, but the pace of change varies wildly between regions. Prospective landlords need to be astute to maximise their profits, using variations in rental growth and yields over the past year to pick out some of the most promising regions for buy-to-let. Consistent rental demand will obviously drive returns in the long-term, but by selecting the right location, yields will be even greater.”