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UK rents rise with tenant demand ‘not showing signs of slowing down’

UK rents have risen yet again, with the latest survey showing higher rents across the whole of the UK. 

The increase in average UK rents comes as demand continues to outstrip supply, with landlords increasingly cautious over making new investment into the sector amid continued tax and legislative changes.

The latest figures from HomeLet show that the average rent in the UK hit £953 per calendar month (pcm) in December, up 3.5% year-on-year. 


When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £793pcm, which is up 3.9% on last year, 

The average rent in the capital is now £1,630pcm, up 2.1% year-on-year. 

All 12 of the regions monitored by HomeLet showed an increase in rental values between December 2019 and the corresponding month a year earlier.


The region with the largest year-on-year increase was Wales, showing a 9.7% rise between December 2018 and December 2019.

Martin Totty, chief executive of Homelet, said: “It’s been an interesting year for the property market as a whole. Despite Brexit implications remaining unknown for a majority of 2019, the private rental sector has continued to conform to the basic economic principle of supply and demand and has only seen rises edging just beyond the rate of inflation until recent months. Rental price growth has been on an upward trajectory since mid-2017, driven primarily by an acceleration in the regions outside of London.

“It’s likely that there are several things contributing to the robust performance of rental prices, the first being the Tenant Fees Act introduction in June 2019. This moved the burden of some fees from tenants to landlords in the first instance, but as most commentary reported at the time, it was very likely to find its way back to tenants over time through higher rents.

“At the same time, the last year has seen more and more reasons for private landlords to potentially exit the market, such as increased taxation and regulatory burdens. There has also been a constriction in the supply of private rental stock as some landlords have indeed left the market following this and other legislation changes that have negatively impacted their yields.

“However, demand for rental properties is not showing signs of slowing down, with the Office for National Statistics reporting the number of households in the sector rising from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.5 million in 2017, and that the age of renters has slowly increased over the same time period. The sluggish dynamics of the sales sector may have limited opportunities for those people looking to make the move from renting to home ownership, driving demand further for rental stock.

“Over the past two years, there has been a surprisingly resilient economy with record levels of employment combined with low inflation and real wage growth, meaning that the higher rents posed by landlords have still been affordable for many private tenants, especially in areas where demand is generally ahead of supply.

“Looking forwards, more potential disincentives are on the horizon for landlords with the promise of a tightening legal regime around no-fault evictions. Should these changes lead to more landlords leaving the market as tenant demand continues to grow, this imbalance would see the rate of rental inflation rise quicker than the steady growth of 2019. So, private landlords have an interesting choice to make moving into the new decade.

“Whilst a level of macroeconomic uncertainty remains, it seems unlikely that the trend of recent years is set to change any time soon. So long as the balance between supply and demand remains, it would be reasonable to predict a further period of solid rental price growth throughout 2020.”




Annual Variation


Monthly Variation







North West






North East






Northern Ireland






East Midlands












Yorkshire & Humberside






South East






Greater London






East of England






West Midlands






South West












UK excluding Greater London






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Poll: Do you think UK rents will rise further in the first quarter of 2020?


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    It's all rubbish especially O'N'S, I don't understand any of this, what is an average Rent you are lumping everything in together so no way of knowing what anyone's Rent is. Why not tell us average Rent for say one bed Flat / 2 bed Flat / 3 Bed Flat or House / 4 bed house, for region etc, but its all put in together and no way of knowing an average Rent for anyone or where ?.

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    It doesn't really matter. Its a generalisation over a very large sample. Rents can only be what people can afford and at the same time make an adequate profit for a landlord. Running a house as a business is expensive as is owning your own house. No difference. Basically a landlord is a property broker. You want somewhere to live and they can supply it and avoid the costs of buying selling property every time you want to move on. Think, you want to fly on an aircraft but you are not going to buy one.

    Very soon you will start to see reports that landlords can not carry on because their risks and costs are more than prospective tenants can afford. Landlords will want to dump their properties asap and they will be willing to take a loss to put an end to rates, mortgage interest, repairs, agents fees and tenant damage with court fees. I can't be the only person watching their business crumble away.

    If you want to know local rents get on the internet and look. If you can't do that you have real problems, very sorry.

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    Yes Fred, I have a real problem its taken me 41 years as a Landlord since 1978 to become Qualified Stupid, Cheers.


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