Rents increased by 1.2% in the 12 months to July 2019, latest official data shows
Rents in the private rented sector in the UK increased by 1.3% in the 12 months to July 2019, unchanged since May 2019, the latest official figures show.
In England rents increased by 1.4%, in Wales by 1%, in Northern Ireland by 2.1% and in Scotland they were up by 0.9%, according to the data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Growth in rents in the UK has generally slowed since the beginning of 2016, driven mainly by a slowdown in London over the same period. But rental growth has started to pick up since the end of 2018, driven by strengthening growth in London.
Rents for the UK, excluding London, increased by 1.5% while in London they increased by 0.9% in the 12 months to July 2019, unchanged since May 2019 but the highest annual growth since September 2017.
Focusing on the long term trend, between January 2015 and July 2019, private rental prices in the UK increased by 7.8%
A breakdown of the figures show that in the largest annual rental price increase was in the East Midlands at 2.1%, unchanged since April 2019. This was followed by the South West with a rise of 2%, unchanged since May 2019, and Yorkshire and the Humber saw a rise of 1.9%, up from 1.8% in June 2019.
The lowest annual rental price growth was in the North East where prices increased by 0.7%, up from 0.5% in June 2019. It was followed by London, which increased by 0.9%, unchanged since May 2019.
Responding to the figures, David Smith, policy director for the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), said that rents are falling in real terms and this show that the market is working.
‘It demonstrates clearly that introducing rent controls linked to inflation, as called for by some, would leave tenants worse off as rents would rise faster than they currently are. Rising demand for and falling supply of homes for private rent risks considerable increases in rents which will only hurt tenants,’ he pointed out.
‘It is vital that the Government stops blaming landlords for the housing crisis and introduces positive, pro-growth measures, to support the majority of landlords who do a good job in providing the homes to rent the country desperately needs. All the talk of longer tenancies will mean nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place,’ he said.
According to the latest figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a fall in the supply of private rented housing whilst demand from prospective tenants increases is likely to squeeze rents higher.
Tenant demand has picked up despite the Government’s efforts to boost home ownership and RICS notes that many respondents to its latest residential market survey saw a rise in the number of enquiries from new home buyers in July.