Rents increased by 1.8% in England and Wales during 2018, latest index shows

Rents in England and Wales increased by 1.8% in 2018 to an average of £865 per calendar month, the latest lettings sector tracker report shows.

On an annual basis, rents rose faster in the South West than any other region while month on month the West Midlands recorded the strongest increase, according to the tracker from Your Move.

In the South West rents rose by 4.1% to hit an average of £702. Three areas still have higher rents than the South West, although average rents dropped in two of these regions. In the East of England the average rent is now £881, a 1.4% fall compared to December 2017, while in the South East prices rents by 1.2% to reach £897.

London remains the most expensive place to rent property in England and Wales, with rents remaining stable across December. However, rents dropped year on year by 0.8% to an average of £1,263.

Asking rents softened in certain areas of the prime central London market which saw increased movement in the mid-range brackets. Reduced demand from families and corporate relocations looking for higher end properties brought prices down in typical family areas outside prime central London, according to the report.

On a monthly basis rents increased by 0.1%, led by a rise of 0.5% in the West Midlands while yields remained unchanged at 4.3%. However, the North West, the West Midlands, Wales and the East of England all ended the year with smaller yields than they did a year previously.

However, the East Midlands bucked this trend with the average returns rising from 4% to 4.2% year on year while in the North East the average yield was 5% and in the North West it was 4.8%.

‘While the rental market tends to wind down as we reach the end of the year, there were still some positive advancements this year, with prices rising in all but two regions. Landlords in most areas saw their yields squeezed in 2018, there was good news as returns held firm between November and December,’ said Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move.

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