The UK rent price growth rate was unchanged on a monthly basis in April, according to the latest Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP) from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The average private rent price paid by a tenant in the UK increased by 1.2% in the 12 months to April, which is unchanged on March’s figure.
The UK rent price growth rate has generally slowed since the beginning of 2016, driven mainly by a slowdown in London. However, it has started to pick up since the end of 2018, due to strengthening growth in the capital.
Rent prices across the UK, excluding London, rose by an average of 1.5% in the year to April, which is unchanged on March. London’s private rents increased by an average of 0.5% over the same period, also unchanged.
In its Residential Market Survey for April, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported that tenant demand continued to rise gently in the month, while supply slipped further, remaining in negative territory since mid-2016.
In contrast, ARLA Propertymark’s (the Association of Residential Letting Agents) Private Rented Sector Report for March noted that the supply of rental properties rose, but agreed that demand from prospective tenants had also increased marginally.
These supply and demand pressures can take time to feed through to the IPHRP, which reflects the UK rent price growth rate for all private rental properties, rather than just newly advertised homes.
In England, private rents increased by an average of 1.2% in the 12 months to April, unchanged on March. When London is excluded from the figures, rent prices rose by an average of 1.6%.
Private rent prices in Wales grew by an average of 1.1% over the same period, which was also unchanged on the previous month.
The average rent in Scotland increased by 0.7% in the year to April, also unchanged. The weaker growth rate recorded in Scotland since 2016 may be due to stronger supply and lower levels of demand north of the border, according to ARLA Propertymark.
The annual rate of change for rent prices in Northern Ireland (2.0%) in December 2018 was higher than the other countries of the UK. This growth rate remained broadly consistent around 2% throughout 2018. Data for Northern Ireland has been copied forward since December 2018. The next update will be included in the ONS’ release on 19th June 2019.
Private rent prices in London rose by an average of 0.5% in the 12 months to April, which was unchanged on March, remaining at its highest annual growth rate since November 2017. The RICS reported in its Residential Market Survey for September 2018 that tenant demand had staged a sustained recovery in the capital, increasingly outstripping supply. These effects may now be starting to feed through to the IPHRP.
Focusing on the English regions, the greatest annual rent price rise in April was recorded in the East Midlands, at an average of 2.1%, which was down on the 2.3% recorded in March. Yorkshire and the Humber (1.8%) followed, unchanged on March, with the South West (1.7%) not far behind, also unchanged.
The lowest annual growth rate was seen in the North West, at an average of 0.4%, which was up from 0.3% in March.
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