London rents now double that of rest of UK

The cost of renting in London has soared in recent years.

The cost of renting in London has soared in recent years

Rents in London are now more than twice as expensive as the rest of the UK, a new study has found.

The average rent in the capital is £1,412 per month, compared to £694 for the elsewhere in the country – making London prices 203 per cent higher, according to the HomeLet Rental Index.

The difference is starkly illustrated in their report:


Across Greater London, most tenants now pay nearly half their earnings in rent, while poverty indicators suggest earnings need to be two and a half times housing costs to be affordable.

London rents have soared 11.2 per cent over the past year, while prices have actually slightly fallen in Scotland and North East England, where the average monthly rent is just £507 a month – just over a third that of London.

Overall UK rents have risen by 6.3 per cent from June 2013-June 2014, with the average rent now £846 per month, although the figure is pushed up by the surge in London housing prices. Average UK rent last year was £59pcm cheaper, at £786.

The government has tried to reject the figures, with housing minister Brandon Lewis stating:

“While inflation currently stands at 1.9 per cent, nationally rents have risen by just 1 per cent.

“Building more rented housing will be the most effective way of controlling rent levels in the future – excessive red tape would just push up rents and reduce choice.

“That’s why we’re investing £1bn in our Build to Rent fund, which is on track to have work started on 10,000 newly built homes specifically for private rent.”

He also pointed to a new ‘How to Rent’ guide for tenants and landlords.

Martin Totty, Barbon Insurance Group’s chief executive officer, was candid in the report about the benefits to landlords:

“The increase in rental values is a positive sign for buy-to-let investors – the steady rental growth that the sector has generated in recent years is in sharp contrast to the peaks and troughs seen in house prices.

“What we don`t know is if it`s increasing incomes driving the increase in rents or if the rental market is attracting new renters who may be opting to rent rather than buy, either through preference or, as a result of the recent sharp increase in house prices. There is every reason to expect that demand for rental property will continue to rise.”

Region Year on year increase Average monthly rent (£) Average yearly rent (£)
London 11.2% 1,412 16,944
East Anglia 6.4% 781 9,372
Wales 4.7% 584 7,008
South West 4.6% 813 9,756
South East 4.4% 863 10,356
West Midlands 4.3% 625 7,500
North West 2.9% 665 7,980
Yorkshire & Humber 2.2% 600 7,200
Northern Ireland 2% 6804 6,804
East Midlands 0.2% 579 6,948
North East -2.3% 507 6,084
Scotland -3.8% 578 6,936
UK 6.3% 862 10,344

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