Rent price rises have slowed to match the pace of house price growth in the UK after nine months of sustained faster growth, according to HomeLet.
The HomeLet Rental Index shows that rent prices have slowed below double figures to an average annual increase of 8.5% across the UK.
For the three months to September 2015, every region of the UK with the exception of the East Midlands has seen annual rent price rises slow down or move into negative growth.
Nine out of 12 UK regions are still seeing rent prices rise on an annual basis, with the largest increases seen in Scotland at 8.4%, the East Midlands at 7.7% and Greater London at 6.6%. The figures also show three regions in negative annual price movement, with prices in the North West 4.6% lower than a year ago, 2.2% lower in East Anglia and 1.4% lower in Northern Ireland.
Comparing September figures to the previous month, the index reveals that only three regions have seen rent prices rise since August. In the three months to September 2015 only Scotland, the East Midlands and West Midlands have seen prices rise – by 1.2%, 1.4% and 1.4% respectively.
Every other region of the UK has seen rent prices fall modestly in the three months to September 2015, with the largest price reductions seen in the South West, the North East and North West at -2.4%, -2.3% and -2.2% respectively.
Martin Totty, Barbon Insurance Group’s chief executive officer, said: "The UK economy has dipped into 'negative inflation' which is a boost to consumers' spending power and, ultimately, their real income. Affordability is an important factor in determining rents. Depending on what happens with inflation and real incomes over the coming months, could have a bearing on future rental price trends especially where, in certain areas of the country, the supply of rental properties is not keeping pace with demand from those wishing to be private sector renters.”
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