Rents reach new record high

Rents in England and Wales now average £770 per month

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The Independent Online

Rents in England and Wales now average £770 per month, £12 more than October 2013 and up 0.3 per cent compared to last month, says a report from Your Move and Reeds Rains.

"Rents have edged to a new record and the rental market is pulsing with new demand. Yet at the same time, tenants are getting on top of their finances helped by a cooling pace of such rent rises," said David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move.

"Better affordability is good for tenants in the longer run too and for landlords who can rely on steady revenue to pay the bills."

Rents in nine out of ten regions of England and Wales are higher than a year ago. The East of England has experienced a rent rise of 4.9 per cent year-on-year, followed by 3.6 per cent in the East Midlands, and 3.1 per cent in the North West. 

London rents have grown the slowest, up 0.5 per cent compared to October 2013.

However, rents in four regions were lower in October than September. London and the North West saw falls of 0.3 per cent, followed by the North East (down 0.2 per cent)and Yorkshire & the Humber (0.1 per cent).

"Tenants have battled a broadly stagnant jobs market for years," added David Newnes. "Recent progress on the unemployment rate has helped bring down the most serious cases of rent arrears. But for others consistently falling just a little behind on the rent, the trouble is more with incomes that just haven’t kept pace with the cost of living."

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, said the charity's advisers are hearing daily from families who are struggling to pay the rent.

"So while most of us are thinking about what presents to put under the tree this Christmas, we know that some parents will be wondering whether their children will have a home at all.  The only way to end this madness is for politicians to commit to building the genuinely affordable homes we desperately need," he said.

Graham Davidson, Managing Director of Sequre Property Investment, added that the traditional surge of students seeking accommodation meant that demand for good quality rental properties had pushed rents up again, in particular for city centre apartments.

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