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Average rents in Britain up 2.3% in 12 months to August 2019

The average rent of a newly let property in Britain rose to £998 per calendar month in August, some 2.3% higher than the same time last year, according to the latest lettings sector index.

Two regions, the South East and South West recorded strong annual rental growth of 5.6% to £1,112 and 5.5% to £852 respectively, the data from the Hamptons International index report shows.

Meanwhile in Scotland rents were down 0.7% to £654, in the Midlands they fell by 0.6% to £685 while in Wales there was a more substantial fall of 3.5% to £659, the data also shows.

Average rents in London grew 2% to £1,737, while in the East of England they increased by 2.8% to £984 and in the North of England they were up by 1.2% to £656.

The index report also looked at how much young people spend on renting a room. It shows that the average 21 to 29 year old spends over a third, some 34% of their pre-tax income on rent. This year a single room within a house share cost £566 per month, up 1.2% from £559 in 2018.

It says that stronger income growth has meant that tenants in their 20’s are spending less on rent than before. In 2017 tenants in their 20’s spent 39% of their pre-tax income on room rent, but this has now fallen to 34% as affordability has improved.

Out of 20 of the largest cities in Britain, Brighton is the least affordable to rent a room with the average cost at £647 per month which accounts for 35% of a 20 something tenant’s pre-tax income.

London is the next most expensive where room rents account for 34% of a 21 to 29 year old’s income, followed by Glasgow at 33%. Sheffield is the most affordable city with room rents accounting for 25% of a tenant’s income.

Half of Britain’s biggest cities reported a year on year increase in room rents, while half reported a fall. Portsmouth recorded the strongest room rental growth, with the average cost of a room rising 7% since last year to £467 while room rents in London rose 2.3% year on year.

Renters would have to pay 31% more to rent a one bedroom home rather than renting a room in a house share. This would take up 47% of the average 21 to 29 years old’s pre-tax income.

‘Tenants in their twenties spend a third of their pre-tax income on room rents in Britain. Yet the cost of trading up to rent a one bed would take up nearly half of their earnings. With its large student population putting pressure on rental accommodation, Brighton is the most unaffordable city to rent a room,’ said Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International.

She also pointed out that rental growth on newly let properties has doubled since August 2018.