Rents rise across Britain in 12 months to July apart from in the Midlands

Average rents on newly let properties in Britain increased by 1.9% in July to reach £982 per calendar month with Scotland seeing the strongest growth, according to the latest agency index.

The data from Hamptons International shows that rents in Scotland rose by 5.2% in the year to July to an average of £683, followed by a rise of 4.7% in the South West to £830 and a rise of 4% in the South East to £1,084.

Asking rents increased by 3.2% in the East of England to £981, by 2.9% in Wales to £701, by and by 1.9% in the North to £650. Rent in Greater London also increased by 1.9% to £1,714, some 74% more than the British average. The Midlands was the only region to record rent falls, down 2.7% to £666.

The monthly Hamptons International report also shows that the time to let a home has fallen to a record low of 20 days in the first seven months of the year, three days quicker than in the first seven months of 2018 and the quickest time on record.

Every region recorded a fall in the time it took to let a property, with London reporting the biggest year on year decrease. It took 19 days on average to let a home in the capital during the first seven months of the year, six days quicker than during the same period in 2018. Falling stock levels down 5% year to date, combined with increasing demand of5.6%, have caused the fall, the report says.

The South West and East Midlands were the quickest regions to let a home, each took 18 days on average, while the North East was the slowest at 24 days, although this was four days faster than the first seven months of 2018.

Between 2014 and 2018, one bedroom properties let the fastest. However, this year, increased demand for larger homes has meant that three bedroom properties let fastest, taking 19.3 days on average, the data also shows.

The cost of renting a one bedroom property has outpaced the cost of renting a three bedroom home this year, with rents rising 2.8% on one bedroom homes compared to 1.3% on three bedroom homes.

The report suggests that this has caused more tenants to split the cost of sharing a larger home, rather than renting individually. Meanwhile a slowing sales market has meant more families are renting while waiting to buy and adding to the demand for three bedroom homes.