Rent levels reach record high

Average rent now £768 a month

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The Independent Online

Rent levels across England and Wales are at a new high, according to a new report

The latest figures from Your Move and Reeds Rains show the average rent is £10 higher than September 2013 at £768 per month - this is up nearly one per cent compared to August.

"Autumn is always a busy period for the lettings industry, and this has been no exception," said David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move. "Looking ahead, it is likely that rents in most parts of the UK will have now reached their seasonal peak  so as the market cools along with the autumn weather there may be opportunities for some tenants to pick up a favourable deal."

The report shows that rents in five regions of England and Wales are higher than 12 months ago with the fastest annual increase in the East of England (3.1 per cent), followed by the South West (2.3 per cent) and London (2.2 per cent).

Meanwhile, rents in the West Midlands are now 2.4% lower than a year ago, followed by an annual fall of 2.3% in the North East and rents in Wales dropping 1.1% compared to September last year. None of the 10 regions analysed has experienced a rent fall between August and September.

Anna Brosnan, head of campaigns at the National Housing Federation, said: "Despite a slowdown in the annual increase, these figures show that private rents are up again and are now the highest they’ve ever been. Decades of not building enough homes are driving up the cost of private rent, leaving families across the country struggling to find the homes they need at prices they can afford."

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, added: "Once again, England’s nine million renters are paying a steep price for our broken housing market. The severe shortage of affordable homes is forcing more families into expensive and unstable private renting, leaving many struggling to make ends meet and with little hope of putting down roots for their future.

"This has to stop. Politicians must get serious about building the genuinely affordable homes we so desperately need and give renters a real hope of a stable future."