Property news roundup: Renting a home in the UK now costs £818 a month

Plus, waking up to Edinburgh, home buyer growth slows, and empty homes numbers drop

London rents are droving the UK average to its highest amount since September 2013, according to new figures from HomeLet.

Its report suggests that  the average cost of renting a home in the UK increased by 2.3 per cent in February to £818 per month, the highest amount recorded for five months.

Although seven of the 12 regions saw monthly increases, most of these were very small except for London's where rent rose by an average of 4.5 per cent to £1,319. The other biggest growth areas were Yorkshire and Humberside (2.2 per cent) and the South East (1.1 per cent).

Gary Abraham, HomeLet’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: "The average age of a tenant has increased consecutively for the past two years to 34. From this we can see a wider variety of people, such as families and professionals, are deciding to become a tenant, rather than buy

Wake up to Edinburgh

The city we would most like to see when we draw back the curtains in the morning is Edinburgh In a survey for Directblinds.co.uk it was ranked first for its relaxing views by 37 per cent of people, followed by London (24 per cent) and Bristol (10 per cent). Lake Windermere was the most popular rural view for residents to admire (18 per cent), followed by the Yorkshire Dales (12 per cent) and  The Cotsworlds (9 per cent). 

Growth in home buyers slows

Home buyer numbers in February increased at their slowest rate since March 2013, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The levelling off was seen across most areas of the country with only Yorkshire and Humberside seeing "meaningful increases" in buyer growth.

Number of empty homes in England at lowest ever level

The number of empty homes dropped by 75,000 during 2013, the largest ever annual drop leaving the total number of empty homes in England to 635,127.

The biggest reductions were seen in the North West of England and London, although the North West still has the highest number of empty homes (130,081), accounting for 21 per cent of all the empty homes in England.

The number of empty homes peaked in 1994 at 868,000 but has since been falling.

The highest vacancy rates are all in Lancashire. In Burnley, Hyndburn and Blackburn more than 6 per cent of the housing stock is empty. The biggest annual reduction was in Birmingham where the numbers of empty homes decreased by 2,889. Other big drops include Gateshead (1,064), Leeds (1,454), and Lambeth (1,205). The vacancy rate in London dropped below two per cent for the first time

David Ireland Chief Executive of Campaigning charity Empty Homes said: "It’s fantastic to see such a large reduction in the number of empty homes. Successive governments have introduced measures to help, but with well over one and a half million families currently on housing waiting lists there is still more to be done. Housing will be a key battle area in next year’s general election and we hope that all parties will continue to have this issue right at the top of their manifestos."

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future