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Rents up 1.4 per cent in last 12 months

Average residential rent is now £747 per month, says new report

The average rent in England and Wales is now 1.4 per cent higher than in June 2013, up from £737 per month at the same time last year.

"If rents had kept up with inflation for the last 12 months, this summer would have seen the average rent break through £750 per month," said David Newnes, director of estate agents Reeds Rains and Your Move, part of LSL Property Services who produced the figures. "And that hasn’t happened."

"With housing costs making up such a big section of monthly budgets, it will be encouraging for many tenants that rents are going up more slowly than other household bills. Thanks to extensive investment by landlords the supply of homes to rent has grown rapidly, and this has restrained rent rises."

Rents in eight out of ten regions are higher than a year ago, with the fastest annual increase iin the South East where the average monthly rent is now 2.9 per cent higher than in June 2013. This is followed by a 2.2 per cent annual increase in the North West and 1.7 per cent in both the South West and Wales.

In the North East there was a 4.6 per cent fall, followed by a drop of f 0.7 per cent in the East of England.

Campbell Robb, Shelter’s chief executive, commented: "This is yet more devastating news for England’s nine million renters with many already having to cope with sky high housing costs and stagnating wages.

"As our housing shortage continues to push a home of their own further out of reach, more and more families being left with no choice but to live in expensive and unstable private rented homes. We hear from renters everyday who are having to cut down on their food or heating just to pay the rent, or ending up trapped in homes too small for their families.

"Until the government gets serious about building the affordable homes we desperately need, and commits to reforming the rental market so that it meets the needs of England’s nine million renters, people across the country will continue to watch their dreams of a stable home drift further out of reach."