The full impact of the cost of living crisis is still revealing itself, as the average rent across Britain hits a record high.
Apart from London, the new average is £1,126 a month, according to Rightmove.
Inside London, it’s £2,257.
This is 11.8% higher than a year earlier, the property website says – adding that the average rent is now 19% or £177 per month higher than when the pandemic started.
In London there’s been a surge of 15.8% over the past year.
Rising rents continue to be driven by a shortage of homes – but recently there have been small signs of improvement, as June saw the highest number of new rental listings coming to market of any month so far this year.
However, this is still down by 26% compared with last year’s levels, while demand is up by 6% – this puts fierce competition between tenants.
Rightmove’s director of property science, Tim Bannister, said: ‘The story of the rental market continues to be one of high tenant demand but not enough available homes to meet that demand.
‘Last year, we saw exceptional numbers of tenants looking to move and this year we have seen no let-up in this trend.
‘While stock levels are beginning to improve, with June seeing the highest number of new rental listings coming to market so far this year, the wide gap that has been created between supply and demand over the last two years will take time to narrow.
‘Until then, this imbalance will continue to support asking rent growth.’
Rightmove predicts that rents will rise by 5-8% by the end of the year.
The other issue is that older housing is falling behind compared to the standard of newer accommodation.
Richard Davies, MD of Chestertons, says: ‘Throughout quarter two of this year, London’s rental market has seen continuous growth in tenant inquiries as well as in the number of tenants extending their rental agreements.
‘Those who secured a property at a discounted rental rate during the pandemic are keen to hold on to this deal as long as possible, particularly in the face of rising living costs.’
But with the return of office workers and students, the rental market is particularly tough.
Richard adds: ‘This has created an extremely competitive market for tenants where many offer landlords over asking price in order to secure a property.’
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