Mortgage famine drives up rents

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Rents in England and Wales rose for the ninth consecutive month in October reaching record levels, according to research by LSL Property Services.

The average cost of renting a property jumped by 0.4 per cent during the month to £691, 4.5 per cent higher than in October last year, said LSL, which owns the UK's largest lettings agent network.

The group said rents continued to be driven up by high demand as potential buyers were either forced to put their plans on hold due to the problems in the mortgage market, or chose to wait in the hope that house prices would continue to fall. But the mortgage drought is also preventing landlords from expanding their property portfolios to meet the demand.