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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rents continue to rise across the UK

The average cost of renting a property outside London rose by 1.7% in the 12 months to October, while tenants in the capital faced a 4% jump, according to the latest data from referencing firm HomeLet.

Its index, which is based on new lets agreed by landlords and agents using its referencing service, reveals that the average rent in the UK hit £928 per calendar month (pcm), up 2.1% on October 2017.

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £768pcm. Within Greater London the monthly outlay for tenants reached an average of £1,543pcm.

But the region with the largest year-on-year increase - in percentage terms - is Northern Ireland, showing a 4.5% rise between October 2017 and October this year.

The average rent in Scotland is £647pcm, up 4.2% on last year.

Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet, said: “Average UK-wide rents continue to increase year-on-year broadly in line with the current rate of inflation and the growth in average wages, meaning affordability in most parts of the country is little-changed.

“The exception is London and the South East, where average rents have increased above both inflation and average wage growth. In contrast to house price trends in this region of the country, activity levels in the private rented sector remain resilient.

“Landlords committed to the sector here seem able to command higher rents, potentially providing some offset to the negative headwinds of taxation changes some will have experienced.”

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