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Rental growth outside London hits 13-year high

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Rents outside London are rising at their fastest pace in more than a decade, according to property site Zoopla.

Average rents outside the capital rose by 5 per cent in the 12 months to July, the biggest increase since Zoopla’s index began in 2008.

Rents have been pushed up by increased demand as the economy starts to open more fully, and university students look for accommodation, the property site said.

The average monthly rent outside London is now £790, up from £752 in July last year.

Rental growth in some cities and towns has reached double figures – for example Wigan (10.5 per cent) and Mansfield (10 per cent).

Hastings, Blackburn, Barnsley and Norwich are registering growth of 9.4 per cent or more.

These locations remain some of the most affordable places to rent, with the proportion of income needed for a single earner to pay monthly rent below the UK average, according to the report.

Rents have also risen in some of the UK’s largest cities.

Average rents in Manchester Local Authority have risen by 1.4 per cent in the last three months alone.

Over the same time period rents in Birmingham are up 2.5 per cent, Leeds up 1.9 per cent and Edinburgh up 2.2 per cent.

“This marks the ‘swing back’ of the pendulum with renters returning to a city life more akin to that before COVID,” the report said.

The same trends are even more apparent in the central London rental market, with a sharp rise in demand in recent months. Average rents in the 12 boroughs in inner London rose by 2.3 per cent in the three months to July.

However, across London as a whole, rental growth declined by 3.8 per cent on an annual basis in July.

Gráinne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, said: “There has been a sharp rise in demand for rental properties in recent months, especially in central city markets, signalling the return of city life as offices and other leisure and cultural venues continue to open up more fully.”

Meanwhile, the average time to rent has fallen to a five-year low.

The average time between listing a rental property and agreeing a rental tenancy is now 15 days, down from more than 20 days in July last year.

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