Rents in Britain up 1.8% year on year, unchanged for three months in a row

Rents in Britain’s private rental sector increased by 1.8% in the 12 months to June 2017, unchanged for the third consecutive month, the latest official data shows.

Rents in England increased by 1.9%, in Wales they were up by 1.1% while Scotland saw rental prices increase by 0.2%, according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But in London the rental growth has been slower, up by 1.3% in the 12 months to June 2017, some 0.5% below the national growth rate.

The largest annual rental price increases were in the South East at 2.8%, unchanged from May 2017, followed by the East Midlands at 2.6%, up from 2.5% in May 2017, the South West at 2.4%, down from 2.5% in May 2017 and the East of England at 2.3% was unchanged month on month.

The lowest annual rental price increases were in the North East at 0.5%, down from 0.6% in May, London at 1.3% was unchanged month on month, the North West at 1.5% was up from 1.3% in May 2017 and Yorkshire and The Humber at 1.7% was unchanged.

The data also shows that between January 2011 and June 2017, rents have increased by 14.8%, strongly driven by the historical growth in private rental prices within London. When London is excluded, private rental prices increased by 10.8% over the same period.

The index report points out that growth in private rental prices has seen signs of a slowdown since the end of 2015, increasing by 1.8% in the 12 months to June 2017. For example, a property that was rented for £500 per month in June 2016, which saw its rent increase by the average rate in Great Britain, would be rented for £509 in June 2017.

Since January 2011, rental prices in England have increased more than those in Wales and Scotland. While the annual rate of change for Wales at 1.1% continues to be below that of England and the nation as a whole, it is the first time the annual rate of change for Wales has been above 1% since February 2012. Wales has shown a broad increase in its annual growth rate since July 2016.

Rental growth in Scotland increased by 0.2% in the 12 months to June 2017 and has remained around zero since August 2016. This weaker growth may be due to stronger supply and weaker demand in Scotland, the report suggests.