Arrears decline over the year despite an increase in rent

Countrywide Residential Lettings

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Newly let rental properties: Analysis from Countrywide plc, the UK’s largest lettings agent, shows that there has been a year-on-year increase in average monthly rent. In February, the average rent for newly let properties in the UK is £876pcm up from £861pcm in February 2014, an increase of 1.7%. However, month-on-month, average monthly rent saw a slight decrease of 0.8%, down from £883pcm in January.

Two bedroom properties were the only property type to see a month-on-month increase in rent, up 0.7% to £816pcm. One and four plus bedroom properties saw a 2.9% decrease month-on-month, followed by three bedroom properties down 0.4%. it is only the four plus bedroom properties that did not see an increase in rent year-on-year – rent decreased 6.9% from £1,345pcm to £1,306pcm in February.

In the regions, the majority of the UK saw an increase in rent month-on-month, with Central London seeing the greatest increase, up 2.5% to £2,629pcm, followed by the Midlands up 1.7% to £652pcm. Wales saw the greatest decrease in rent, down 7.5% to £616pcm, followed by the South East, down 4.3% to £991pcm. Year-on-year, Greater London saw the largest increase in rent, up 8.4% to £1,251pcm and the South East the greatest decrease, down 8.1%. This is due to a fall in demand for rental properties in the region, as more tenants move out of the private rented sector and into the owner occupier sector.

Graph A:  Average rent by region for newly let properties 

Renewed tenancies: The average UK rent for renewed tenancies in February is £841pcm, an increase of 0.7% month-on-month and 1.9% year-on-year.

One and three-bedroom properties see a decrease in rent, down 1% and 0.1% to £674pcm and £874pcm respectively, when compared to January 2015. Two and four plus bedroom properties see an increase of 0.9% and 3% to £770pcm and £1,390pcm respectively. One-bedroom properties were the only type to see a decrease in rent year-on-year, down 1%. Two-bedroom properties saw a 2.4% increase, three bedroom properties a 2.6% increase and four plus bedroom properties an increase of 3%.

The majority of UK regions see an increase in rent in February. Central London and the South East saw the greatest increase, up 3.2% and 2.6% to £2,543pcm and £1,036pcm respectively when compared to January 2015. The Midlands see rent stay flat for the month on January and the East of England, Wales and Scotland saw decreases of 2.2%, 2.2% and 1.1% respectively.

Graph B: Average rent by region for renewed tenancies

All occupied rental properties: the average UK rent for all occupied rental properties in February is £838pcm, an increase of 0.2% on January and 2.2% year-on-year.

Rents have remained steady month-on-month for all property types, with one bedroom properties seeing no increase in rent at £688pcm, two and three bedroom properties seeing a 0.4% and 0.2% increase to £771pcm and £877pcm respectively, and four plus bedroom properties seeing a slight decline of 0.2% to £1,326pcm. Year-on-year all property types have seen an increase in rent.

The majority of regions have seen a slight increase in rent in February when compared to January. The greatest increase is in Scotland where rent increase 0.5% to £629pcm followed by Greater London up 0.4% to £1,142pcm. Wales and Central London both saw a decrease in rent of 0.5% to £638pcm and £2,435pcm respectively.

Graph C: UK average rent for occupied rental properties

Arrears: Arrears have decreased in all regions, a sign that households are perhaps better off now than at this time last year.


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