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Rents up 2.4% as market continues to shift away from London – Your Move

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According to Your Move’s latest England and Wales Buy-To-Let (BTL) Index, average rents across the UK now stand at £845 on a seasonally adjusted basis – representing a 2.4% year-on-year increase.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, average rent was £924 per month across the UK.

The index also revealed that rental prices in the East of England rose faster than anywhere else in the UK in the year to October, with the average price standing now at £887 – representing a 6% annual jump.

Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move and Reeds Rains, said: “Across England and Wales, rents have grown by 2.4% in the last year although some areas, such as the East of England, have performed above that level.”

Meanwhile, the focus of the rental market continues to move away from London and the South East, as other areas have become headline growth drivers.

Despite being the most expensive place to rent a property – with the average house being let at £1,276 – London was one of two areas to see rents fall, the other being the North East. In both areas, rents fell by 1% in the last 12 months.

The North East remains the cheapest place to rent, with the average price at £535.

Other areas in the UK to see strong price increases were the North West, where rents grew by 3.1% to reach £633 per month, and the East Midlands, which saw a 3.2% hike to a £648 average.

Tenant arrears up

The average property in the North East had a 5.1% higher yield than any other surveyed area, while the North West saw a 5% yield rate this month.

Continuing from market trends, London properties delivered the smallest percentage returns to owners, with the typical property generating a yield of 3.2%.

Your Move also found that the proportion of tenants in arrears rose between September and October, with households in arrears reaching 12.1%. While this is above the 8.7% recorded in September, the October figures remain below the 12.8% found in August and 13.7% recorded in July.

The highest recorded level of tenants in arrears was in February 2010, at 14.6%.

Stabilising yields

Following a period of pressure on landlords, yield levels across England and Wales have stabilised. The index found that the typical yield in surveyed regions remained flat between September and October, meaning that the average UK yield levelled at 4.4% in October.

Yet, compared with the same time last year, properties were generating smaller returns – October 2016 saw a 4.8% average yield.

“As we approach winter, the heat has been taken out of the rental market and price growth has slowed,” said Alderton.

He continued: “While prices in most areas have continued to rise, it has been at a slower pace than we had been used to in recent years.”

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