Rents in the UK’s regions fell for the first time in five years – driven by rising supply in the commuter belt
The average asking rent for properties outside of London has declined for the first time since records began in 2011 – with landlords turning their backs on the capital’s housing market responsible for the drop.
The latest rental price index from online property portal Rightmove found that national asking rents in the UK, excluding London, fell by 0.2% in September as property investors moved into the commuter belt and the wider areas around the capital.
Declining rents were driven by the surge of new properties entering the market in the South East, said Rightmove, with the dramatic increase in the availability of new properties in the region altering the overall impression of the market.
Rents in the South East fell by 2.3% last month, according to the Index, with only two other regions, Greater London and Yorkshire and the Humber, also seeing a decline.
The largest increase in average monthly asking rents came from the North East, where the cost of renting a property rose by 2.6% in September, to a new average of £564 per month.
Across the UK, the rental market continued to see annual growth, as rents increased once again, with the average cost of renting a home in the UK now standing at £789.
Annually, London saw the largest decline in rents once more, falling by 3.3% to an average of £1,920 per calendar month – which remains the most expensive average rent of any region in the UK.
As the capital’s rental market continues to struggle, Rightmove’s head of lettings, Sam Mitchell, indicated that investors are becoming more receptive to exploring their options outside of London.
‘Agents are reporting that some investors looking for better yields are shifting their focus from London,’ said Mitchell.
Last week at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister Theresa May announced an additional £2bn to help local councils tackle the problem of unaffordable rents in areas across the UK.
In her speech, Mrs May pledged to build properties that would see rents set ‘well below market level’, to help those where the ‘need is greatest’.