Rental growth in the UK weakening in 2018, official data shows

Rents in the private rented sector in the UK increased by 0.9% in the 12 months to October 2018, unchanged from the 12 months to September 2018, official data shows.

They increased by 0.9% in England, by 0.7% in Wales, by 0.6% in Scotland and by 1.7% in Northern Ireland, according to the data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures also show that growth in private rents has slowed since the beginning of 2016, driven mainly by a slowdown in London over the same period.

Rents in the UK excluding London increased by 1.4% in the 12 months to October 2018, down slightly from 1.5% in the 12 months to September 2018. But in London rents fell by 0.2%, unchanged year on year.

In the long term rents have increased UK wide by 6.7% between January 2015 and October 2018.

A breakdown of the figures show that annual growth in Wales was lower than England for the first time since September 2017. Wales showed a broad increase in its annual growth rate between July 2016 and the end of 2017, but has fallen back during 2018 to its lowest level since April 2017, when it was also 0.7%.

The index report suggest that no change in rent growth in Scotland year on year is not new, with the market weakening since the middle of 2016 and this may be due to stronger supply and weaker demand in Scotland.

On a regional basis the biggest rent rise was 2.7% in the East Midlands but this was down from 2.9% in September 2018, followed by a rise of 1.8% in the West Midlands, up from 1.7% in September 2018, and the East of England also up 1.8%, down from 1.9% in September 2018.

The lowest annual rental price growth was in London where prices fell by 0.2% in the year to October 2018, unchanged from September 2018. It was followed by the North East, where rents increased by 0.3%, up from 0.2% in September 2018.