Annual rental price growth in the UK edged up in December, HomeLet said on Tuesday.
The latest HomeLet Rental Index reveals that the annual rate of rental price inflation reached 1.7% in December, although this remains significantly lower than the UK consumer price index of 3.1% recorded last month.
The last time that average rents rose more quickly than inflation was December 2016, when the HomeLet Rental Index recorded an increase of 1.7% compared to a CPI reading of 1.6%.
The average UK rent for a new tenancy starting in December was £907 per month, which is higher than December 2016’s average of £892, and £3 more when compared to November 2017, based on HomeLet’s data.
Rents in December rose in every area of the country apart from two when compared to the corresponding month last year, with the South East of England, where average rents in December are down 1% on last year, the only faller. Meanwhile, rents in Wales remained flat.
The East Midlands recorded the highest rate of rental price inflation last month, with rents that were, on average, 4.6% higher in December than in the same month of 2016.
Rental price inflation exceeded 3% in three other regions last month: the South-West, North East and Northern Ireland.
Martin Totty, chief executive of Barbon Insurance Group, HomeLet’s parent company, said: “2017 was a year in which rental price inflation was modest; we actually saw average rents across the country fall during May and June, and while this was not repeated during the second half of the year, we remain some way off the much higher levels of rental price inflation that prevailed in 2015 and much of 2016.”
Totty added: “We continue to see a very mixed picture regionally: in areas of the country where rents rose less quickly in 2015 and 2016, rental price inflation was much higher last year; by contrast, those areas where rents were previously rising fastest have been seeing much more modest increases.”