Rents in England and Wales static month on month, up 3.2% year on year

Residential rents in England and Wales increased by 3.2% to an average of £860 in the 12 months to March 2018 but month on month there was little movement, the latest rental tracker index shows.

London remains the most expensive place to rent with an average rent of £1,276, although this was flat compared to March 2017. However, there are many disparities in London based on where a property is located, according to the Your Move index.

The East Midlands was the fastest moving rental market with growth of 3.2% in the last year. The region, containing major cities such as Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, saw rents rise to £893, the joint second most expensive place in the survey, tied with the South East.

The South East saw rents increase by 1.6% year on year to an average of £893 while in the South West rents were up 2.3% and in the East of England by up 2.1% to £677 and £893 respectively. Rents increased by 2% in the West Midlands and by 1.7% in Yorkshire and the Humber to £618 and £575.

The North East recorded the biggest fall in rents, down 1.8% year on year to £536 per calendar month, the lowest rent in the index while in Wales rents fell by 0.8% to £593 per calendar month.

On a monthly basis, no region of England and Wales posted a price change of greater than 0.5%, the index figures also show. Rents were down marginally in Wales, the North West and the East of England by 0.37%, 0.04% and 0.06% respectively.

Wales the only area to see yields fall, down marginally from 4.8% to 4.7% month on month. Across England and Wales the average yield was 4.4% in March 2018, the same as a month earlier.

However, there are still major differences between Northern and Southern parts of England. Despite rents falling, the North East continues to offer stronger returns than anywhere else. The region, which includes popular university towns such as Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland, delivered an average yield of 5% in March.

This was slightly ahead of the North West, where the average property returned 4.9% to investors. London and surrounding areas continued to offer the lowest percentage returns, with the typical property in the capital generating a return of 3.2%. Elsewhere the South East and South West regions both recorded an average of 3.3%.

‘The market in London has stopped its recent slowdown, but still lags behind the strong growth seen in the East Midlands. The South West also grew at a strong pace while the North East delivered the strongest yields to landlords,’ said Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move.

‘This shows that there’s something for every investor and landlord, whether yield driven or seeing capital appreciation, in today’s rental market,’ he added.