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Rental market hotspots revealed

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

The average rent in the UK at the end of 2015 was £739, but which areas showed the greatest increases over the year?

The average rent in the UK at the end of 2015 was £739 outside London, compared to £704 in 2014 – an increase of 4.9%.

In the capital, the rental market boomed as rents shot up by 8%, averaging £1,523 against £1,410 last year.

But the biggest rental market hotspots were outside London, with Brighton and Bristol both recording a whopping 18% annual rise in rents, reaching an average £1,078 and £904 per month respectively.

Edinburgh and Newcastle took joint second spot, seeing rises in average rent of 16% during 2015. And in third place were Liverpool and Greater London, with an 11% increase.

Martin Totty, Barbon Insurance Group’s chief executive officer, said: “2015 was a year in which rents on new tenancies were up on 2014 in almost every area of the country. While we saw a moderation in the rate at which rents increased during the final months of the year, and even some falls in a number of regions, the sector overall has continued to see strong demand.”

“Beneath the headline figures, HomeLet’s data points to some significant variations in rental market performance in 2014, both from region to region and from town to town. In locations such as Brighton and Bristol, demand for rental property appears to have been particularly strong and rents on new tenancies jumped very markedly. In other areas, we saw slower growth.”

Rent falls on new tenancies

Despite the overall rises in rental income the Homelet Rental Index revealed that the picture wasn’t quite so rosy on new tenancies towards the end of the year. In eight out of 12 regions rents on new tenancies agreed in the three months to December actually fell when compared to the three months to November. The biggest falls were in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where rents were down 2.8% and 1.8% respectively.

On an annual basis, rents on new tenancies rose in 10 out of the 12 areas, with two notable exceptions – the North-West of England, where rents were down 5.1% compared to 2014, and Northern Ireland (0.6%).