Rents increased by an average of 2.6% in Britain in year to May 2019

The average cost of a new let in Britain increased by 2.6% year on year to £977 per calendar month with growth driven by areas in the south of the country, although Scotland also recorded a strong rise, the latest index shows.

The biggest annual rise in the year to May 2019 was 4% in the South West to an average of £814, followed by a rise of 3.2% in Scotland to £651, then a rise of 3.1% in Greater London to £1,716, according to the lettings index from Hamptons International.

The data shows that rents increased by 2.4% in the South East to £1,061, by 1.6% in the Midlands to £686 and by 1.1% in the North of England to £628. But rents fell by 0.5% in the East of England to £945 and by 0.1% in Wales to £666.

The monthly index also shows that more people aged 50 and over are renting to reach a record high. So far this year over 50’s accounted for 15% of rented households, up from just 11% when Hamptons International’s records began in 2012 and nearly a third of this group are pensioners.

Hamptons International estimate that this year over 50’s rented 791,580 homes in Britain, 61% more than in 2012 and 8.2% more than last year. As a result, over 50’s will pay £9.2 billion on rent this year, up from just £5.1 billion in 2012 and £8.5 billion in 2018.

The South East has the highest proportion of older renters with 19% of tenants aged over 50, followed by the South West and the North West both with 16% and Wales with 15%. The East of England, London and Yorkshire and Humber have the lowest proportion of tenants over 50, all at 11%.

Most tenants over 50 live in two bedroom properties, accounting for 44%, with 26% renting a three bedroom home and 19% a one-bedroom home. Across Britain some 48% of tenants over 50 live alone.

‘The number of over 50’s renting in Britain has reached a record high. With younger generations much less likely to be homeowners, tenants are getting older, and an ever more diverse group of people are calling the rented sector home,’ said Aneisha Beveridge, Head of Research at Hamptons International.