Rent growth in England and Wales led by the North West in January
Rents have increased by 2.5% in the year to January in England and Wales to an average of £829 per month with only London and the North East recording a fall, the latest rent tracker report.
The data from Your Move also reveals that the strongest growth has been in the North West and East Midlands with typical monthly rent in these regions some 2.9% higher than 12 months ago.
However, the headline monthly rent figure masks stark regional differences. In London, the most expensive place to rent a home, the average monthly rent is £1,276 compared to £534 in the North East.
Cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, plus rural areas of Cheshire and Lancashire, have typical rents of £636 a month and demand is strong, according to Vicki Cullen, Your Move area lettings manager.
‘Demand in Manchester and East Lancashire remains strong due to the easily accessible commuter and public transport links. The variety of local schools, makes the area popular with families. In addition large businesses, including local hospitals and universities, also boost employment opportunities,’ she said.
While 2017 saw a decline in the yields achieved by landlords and other property investors, that did not carry over into the first month of the New Year, the report shows that all regions enjoyed the same percentage returns in January as they did the previous month.
Northern regions continued to offer the best returns to investors, with the North East leading the way. Despite having lower rents than elsewhere, investors enjoyed a yield of 5% was higher than anywhere else.
The North West also has a high yield rate, with the average property returning 4.9%, while in Wales the figure was 4.8%. London continues to offer the smallest percentage returns to investors at 3.2%. The South East and South West regions also saw low returns at 3.3%.
‘While 2017 saw the yields achieved by landlords continue to be squeezed, landlords can begin to feel confident in the market as yield levels have stabilised in all areas. With more tenants seeing renting as a long term option, landlords, with their letting agent’s support, should identify features to encourage longer tenancies,’ said Martyn Alderton, national lettings director at Your Move.