Scotland and Wales saw higher rent growth than rest of UK in 2018

The average rent for a property in the UK increased by just 0.96% in 2018 but the lettings markets in Scotland and Wales are stronger, the latest index report shows.

Rents increased by 0.91% in England but this was surpassed by annual growth of 1.57% in Wales, by 1.48% in Scotland and by 0.75% in Northern Ireland, according to the Landbay rental index.

UK-wide, excluding London, rents increased by 1.16% and in England, excluding London they increased by 1.11%. London rents increased by just 0.58% in 2018 to an average of £1,898.

While a regional breakdown shows that rents increased by 2.19% in the East Midlands, by 1.48% in the West Midlands and by 1.4% in Yorkshire and Humberside.

This takes the average rent in the UK to £1,213 per month, in the UK excluding London to £770, in England to £1,244, in England excluding London to £775, in Scotland to £743, in Wales to £656 and in Northern Ireland to £574.

The firm also looked at what has happened to rents since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 and found that Brexit has had the most impact in London, calculating that landlords in the capital are £1,086 worse off in terms or rental income.

Rent growth in London is almost 3% lower than projected rate of growth since the vote but the Brexit effect is not showing in the rest of the country.

London has seen an average annual rental growth drop from 1.26% in June 2016 to a low of 0.33% in June 2017 and has since been creeping up but slowly, by 0.05% in February 2018 and by 0.58% in in December 2018.

‘It’s hard to ignore the impact that the vote to leave the EU has had on property market in London. While tenants are better off, without necessarily realising it, uncertainty in the market has caused a conundrum for landlords,’ said John Goodall, chief executive officer of Landbay.

‘Many landlords will have been looking to offset the Government’s punitive tax regime by raising rents, however the uncertainty surrounding Brexit has forced the vast majority to forfeit this to maintain a steady income,’ he explained.

He pointed out that employment and immigration are the two main concerns for the housing market when considering Brexit. ‘Brokers need to access the current landscape and provide insight to their clients on potential issues that may arise for them in the future. Despite a drop in rental growth the market continues to show resilience,’ he added.

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