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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test