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Rents have fallen in real terms over the last decade

The outlook for renters has improved over the past decade, albeit with considerable regional variations, thanks to improved affordability, new figures show.

Real rents, adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 2.2% in Great Britain since October 2008, which means that the average cost of living has risen more than average rents, according to new data from Hamptons International.

Over the past decade, inflation (CPI), which measures the average cost of goods and services - or the cost of living - has risen 24%, outpacing rents, which are up by an average of 22% over the corresponding period.

Inflation has outpaced rental growth in all regions across Great Britain, resulting in negative real rental growth, with the exception of the East of England and London, where rental growth has outpaced inflation over the past 10 years, at an average of 7.5% and 0.5% respectively.

The Midlands has seen the biggest fall in real rents, down 7.8% since October 2008, while real rents in the North have dropped 6.9% as inflation has outpaced rental growth.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons International, said: “Real rents in Great Britain have been falling for the last 21 consecutive months. This comes as a result of sluggish rental growth and a post-EU referendum backdrop of rising inflation.”

However, this trend could be set to change as inflation begins to fade and rental growth starts to pick up pace, according to Beveridge.

Rental growth on new let properties accelerated to 2% to hit an average of £977 per calendar month across Great Britain in October 2018, the highest level since February as every region recorded a rise in rents.

The East of England saw the biggest jump in rents, up 3.9% year-on-year, while Scotland saw the slowest rental growth at 1.1%.  Meanwhile rents in London grew for the second consecutive month, up 1.4% year-on-year, driven by a 2.7% annual rise in inner London rents.

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