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Private sector rents hit record high

Rents in the UK’s private rented sector reached a record high in August, according to the latest data from HomeLet. 

The figures show that the average rent in the UK hit £970 per calendar month (pcm), up 2.4%, or £23, on the corresponding period last year. 

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £802pcm, which is 2%, or £16, increase on last year.


Unsurprisingly, average rents in London remain most expensive at an average of £1,689pcm, up by 3.5%, or £57, on last year.

All 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an increase in rental values between August 2018 and August 2019. 

Martin Totty, chief executive of HomeLet, said: “In times of uncertainty people tend to defer major purchases - opting to wait for the turbulent times to pass - and there is nothing more ‘major’ than buying property. In the case of Brexit – deal or no-deal – it is still unclear how long the uncertainty will continue, which could spell positive news for private landlords as more people choose to rent rather than risk entering the property market at the wrong point in the cycle.

“Recently released annual results from a number of major quoted property agents point to a resilient private rented sector in contrast to a subdued sales market. With a still unclear outcome of the current political impasse and the increasing prospect of a further extended delay in the UK exiting the European Union, the contrasting fortunes of the two main segments of the housing market seem likely to continue for some time.

“As well as the long-term trend underpinning the private rented sector, recent months have produced growth towards the upper end of the inflation range observed over the past few years. This is perhaps no surprise, at least not to most informed participants in the sector. Indeed, many had predicted this as the inevitable consequence of banning letting agents and landlords from charging up-front fees to tenants. Faced with higher expenses, higher taxation and greater regulation, savvy property owners were always likely to seek to recover these increased charges.

“Thanks to strong demand for rental stock, continued wage growth and a near all-time high level of employment, landlords hold some pricing power and seemingly are now beginning to exercise it. Property professionals pointed out at the time, the fees ban could result in tenants actually paying more, albeit in a different way and over a period of time. Perhaps after all that was an acceptable outcome for all sides. Intended or unintended, it does start to appear to be the consequence.”


August  2019

July 2019

August 2018

Monthly Variation

Annual Variation


Greater London




1.4 %

3.5 %


North West




2.1 %

3.3 %


South West




-0.4 %

3.1 %






-0.2 %

3.1 %


East Midlands




1.4 %

2.5 %


East Of England




0.5 %

1.9 %


West Midlands




1.6 %

1.7 %


Yorkshire & Humberside




2.2 %

1.6 %






-1.2 %

1.1 %


North East




0.4 %

1.0 %


South East




1.0 %

0.9 %


Northern Ireland




-1.0 %

0.2 %






1.1 %

2.4 %


UK excluding Greater London




1.0 %

2.0 %


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Poll: Given that in times of uncertainty people tend to defer major property purchases, do you think that Brexit – deal or no-deal – spells positive news for private landlords


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    Don’t agree with any of this, my Rents haven’t gone up & some have gone down. I see houses idle for months in Ealing W5 but I suppose no one will have figured for this as Council will not know because C/tax has to be paid in full.

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    • 13 September 2019 09:33 AM

    Funny you should mention Ealing.
    My mother has some houses in Linden Gardens.
    I have been badgering her to sell them all especially as she refuses to charge market rents.
    Ealing is an horrendous place.
    In the back garden you have to stop talking every 5 mins as a large passenger jet flies over.
    She lets to DSS and refuses to charge more than the LHA rates.................. bonkers.
    Trying to get her to sell and buy some resi properties in Bishop's Stortford to service the ever expanding tenant and lodger demand plus she had a Residential property there.
    Would make life a lot easier for her.
    With all the threats from Khan and Labour she would be best off out of the London property market especially in horrendous Ealing.
    God knows how people tolerate the noise from those low flying aircraft.
    In B Stortford you can see them but rarely hear more than a background noise of aircraft and that is with being 15 mins drive away!!
    I'm surprised you are not achieving rent increases.
    Perhaps London had hit the limits.
    Time to get out before rent controls and RTB occur when Labour win the next GE.

  • icon

    I couldn’t agree more and your Mother a wonderful compassionate human being not making them like that anymore, where can you find a buy to Let Landlord those days with a heart, god spare her the health. 🍀👍🏻

    • 13 September 2019 22:04 PM

    Trouble is she needs the income and therefore her lifestyle is compromised by charging less for her assets than she could achieve.
    But of course that is her choice!!
    I would NOT do as she does as I am only in the game to make as much money as I can.
    So I would NOT take on DSS tenants.
    The problem will be that potentially I will inherit relatively soon and the FIRST thing I would do is increase all rents to market ones.
    I refuse to be any sort of charity.
    Of course it also lulls the tenant into a false sense of security as when I take over there is no way this particular tenant could afford to live in a big house in Linden Gdns.
    So clearly I am nothing like my mother though I used to be!

  • icon

    What made Paul change to be different from his mother?


    Probably the realities of being a landlord, once you have experienced the dross of the benefit tenants attitudes soon change, I will bend over backwards for a good tenant, I spent a day and £20 last week renewing roofing felt on a tenant's shed roof, her shed not mine, nothing wrong in doing some one a good turn when it is appreciated, I treat people as they treat me.

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    Yes and for me it was the reality of being unjustly singled out as a private LL for special draconian treatment that wasn't warranted, that made me more frosty & bitter. Starting with John Prescott deputy premier bringing in the 2004 Act, no queensbury rules for this 2 jags man. All followed on from there / 2006 Houses in Multiple Occupation licensing schemes but it didn't matter how multiple they were as long as they were Related they were exempt and life style mostly funded by the State. Then Deposits taken away in 2007 and replaced by a scheme that protect the Deposit not the Property. Taking away our 10% Wear & Tear. Shelters "How to Rent" as if this generation didn't know how to rent. Deregulation Act to cover the Tenant for any damage they might do and make LL a Criminal, reduce c/gains for everyone else but keep high for LL, now they want to increase again, not forgetting section 24 investment interest taxed instead of allowed, article 4, so much more too much to put on a blog, but have to mention Rogue Help to Buy Scheme roping young people into trouble & building thousands of flats clearly not required, the chickens will come home to roost on this one, are you still wondering what happened to us and before I forget the small matter of costs oh silly me we pay for all, all, all, all

    • 14 September 2019 10:32 AM

    Brilliant post.
    Your sentiments expressed so well are believe me shared by thousands of other LL including me.
    The tipping point has been reached and LL are heading for the exit just at the time when that is the last thing the Govt wishes to happen.
    TA costs are literally going through the roof as LL sell up.
    It is costing Councils billions that they don't have.
    No surprise then that it wi be CT payers that will be paying for all the extra TA costs apart from those on welfare where very little CT contribution is required!!

  • icon
    • 14 September 2019 10:21 AM

    Bang on AT.

    Personally I have lost thousands due to DSS dross.
    I ain't no charity.
    It also helps the fact that my mother's properties are unencumbered and that gives a LL a lot more flexibility but of course there are CGT penalties so really she should charge the maximum she can as if she sells she will be slaughtered for CGT.
    So I see no reason why she should charge effectively subsidised rent by her!!
    But currently none of my business what she does!!
    I've been to the properties over the years and they are massive.
    Funnily enough Linden Gdns was built by my great- grandfather.
    At the end of the street is a church.
    Only there as following the death of his wife he lost interest in further building to the end of the street.
    But yes you are correct on principle I will have nothing to do with DSS tenants as long as the Eviction process remains so useless along with S21 being abolished and the not inconsiderable fact that few if any DSS tenants could ever afford the market rents I would charge.
    So whether I would or wouldn't accept DSS tenants is pretty academic as none of could afford my properties!!
    I have been ripped off by tenants to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds such that I will never make a profit in my lifetime.
    It is my intent to leave the PRS ASAP.
    I have had enough of being ripped off by tenants!!


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