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First-time buyer boom does little to halt rent rises

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A thriving first-time buyer sector has done little to slow rent rises, data from LSL Property Services has found.

The average rent stood at £743 at the end of August. This represents a 0.7% rise on the previous month and 1.3% compared to the same period last year.

Rents are now £1 behind the all-time high recorded in October 2012.

Eight out of ten regions saw rents increase month-on-month with the South East recording the biggest rise at 2.3%.

However, those with properties in North East towns such as Middlesbrough and Hartlepool fared worse as rents slumped by 0.8% across the region. Average rents in the East Midlands also fell month-on-month.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said an increase in the number of first-time buyers had not had a damaging effect on the rental market.

“Releasing a blast of that pent-up pressure to buy a home is unlikely to change the long-term trend to renting. Although government schemes are helping, buying a first home is still extremely hard on the back of low salary growth.

“As hundreds of thousands of new households look for homes, it’s increasingly private renting that’s absorbed the pressure. Autumn brings the seasonal peak for the rental market, in part due to the spike caused by student renters, and the sheer volume of lettings activity shows demand this year is as strong as ever.”

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