Rents in the UK’s private rented sector increased by 1.3% in the 12 months to May 2019, up from 1.2% in April, ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices has found.
In England rents increased by 1.3%, in Wales by 1.2%, and in Scotland by 0.8%, the data shows.
Northern Ireland’s annual growth rate has remained broadly consistent at around 2% since 2018.
Growth in rental prices means that affordability continues to be stretched and that is bad news for tenants, according to Tom Gatzen, co-founder of ideal flatmate.
He commented: “We’ve seen a notable increase in the number of UK households in the private rental sector over the last 10 years in particular and this growing dependence has been the driving factor behind a consistent increase in rental costs, as demand continues to outstrip the supply of suitable properties available.
“This hasn’t been helped by changes to the sector which have deterred buy-to-let investment to a degree, and the latest introduction of a tenant fee ban could see rents climb higher as letting agents pass lost revenue costs onto the landlord.”
According to the figures from the ONS, growth in private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK has generally slowed since early 2016, fuelled primarily by a slowdown in London. But there are signs that rental growth in the capital and other parts of the country are starting to pick up.
London private rental prices rose by 0.9% in the 12 months to May 2019, up from 0.5% in April 2019, according to data from the ONS.
“We do not see it as a coincidence that several rental indices are show that, following a protracted period of softness, average rents in London are once again increasing,” said Kate Davies, executive director at the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.