Rents fell in England and Wales in year to March 2019

Rents in England Wales fell by 1% in the 12 months to March 2019 and barely changed month on month, taking the average to £860 per month, the latest index shows.

The lowest rents continue to be found in the North East, the South West has the fastest rising rents and London remains the most expensive place to rent with an average rent of £1,260, according to the data from the Your Move index.

The next highest rent is in the South East of England at £897, followed by £875 in the East of England, then £701 in the South West, £665 in the East Midlands, £646 in the North West, £638 in the West Midlands, £597 in Wales, £589 in Yorkshire and the Humber and £539 in the North East.

But the national figure masks regional differences, as regions such as the East of England have seen rents fall while the South West is growing at 3.6% annually

The data also shows that landlords in Southern regions are now looking North for higher returns, as properties in Northern areas continue to outstrip rival regions. In the North East the typical property returned 5% while in the North West that figure was 4.8%.

This contrasts with an average yield of just 3.2% in London and 3.3% in both the South East and South West. Wales was the only area where yields dropped between February and March, falling from 4.6% to 4.5% while the average yield across all of England and Wales was 4.3%, the same as in February but down from the 4.4% recorded a year ago.

‘Yields continue to perform strongly, with just one region offering lower returns this month than in February. We continue to see landlords in the south of England looking further afield for their next rental opportunity, as northern properties deliver stronger yields,’ said Martyn Alderton, National Lettings Director at Your Move.

‘The growth of the urban rental market has created yield hotspots for private landlords in northern cities like Manchester and Liverpool. Universities in these major cities are attracting students from across the country,’ he explained.

‘Young professionals are also increasingly relocating to the North. The investment in infrastructure and culture, for example the relocation of the BBC and ITV to Manchester, has undoubtedly boosted the desirability of the city among this group,’ he added.

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