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Rents leap four per cent in three months, but big regional differences

HomeLet’s latest monthly index shows a four per cent surge in the all-UK average rent over just three months, but there are significant regional variations.

The insurance company says the average rent in the UK is now £987, up just 0.2 per cent on last month but a full four per cent higher than June’s figure of £951. 

When London is excluded, the average rent in the UK is now £828, up by 3.9 per cent year-on-year. 


Seven of the 12 regions monitored showed an increase in rental values between August and September this year, with the North East seeing the biggest increase of 2.2 per cent.

In September - last month - the average rental value in London (£1,646) was a remarkable 99 per cent higher than the rest of the UK, excluding London. 

Looked at on an annual basis, 10 of the 12 regions showed an increase in rental values between September 2019 and September 2020, with the South West seeing the highest increase of 6.6 per cent. 

However, rents in London are down year on year, showing a 2.8 per cent fall; Northern Ireland also shows a yearly decrease, also with a 2.4 per cent fall between September 2019 and September 2020. 

“Whilst it’s undoubtedly the case many landlords are being supportive of their tenants and agreeing temporary reductions or deferrals, it will be encouraging for them to see rents agreed on new tenancies, in almost all parts of the country, are continuing to hold up and generally edge forward” says Martin Totty, chief executive at HomeLet.

“This is likely because tenant demand remains strong whilst supply may be a little more constrained if some landlords are selling into a stronger sales market, even if that could be a short term phenomenon. It also doesn`t help tenants much if, for them, the prospect of securing first time mortgage finance remains as elusive as ever” Totty continues.

“So, those landlords committed to the sector for the long term and having shown their willingness to confront the multiple headwinds of: taxation change; new regulatory requirements; and, in certain circumstances, longer notice periods to gain possession of their properties, may still be rewarded for their flexibility and their perseverance with reasonable returns on their investment risk.” 


September 2020  

August 2020  

September 2019  

Monthly Variance 

Annual Variance 

South West  




0.3 %  

6.6 %  

North East  




2.2 %  

4.3 %  

East Of England  




1.4 %  

4.3 %  

North West  




-1.4 %  

4.2 %  

West Midlands  




1.1 %  

4.0 %  

East Midlands  




1.2 %  

3.8 %  

South East  




0.4 %  

2.8 %  





1.4 %  

2.5 %  

Yorkshire & Humberside  




-0.7 %  

2.4 %  





-1.3 %  

1.0 %  

Northern Ireland  




-1.6 %  

-2.4 %  

Greater London  




-0.4 %  

-2.8 %  





0.2 %  

2.1 %  

UK excluding Greater London  





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  • icon

    Well we have been saying it for months. Rents are going up! I didnt need this survey to validate what we already knew. The London area is a different market.
    The London naysayers seem to wish to dictate for the rest of the country. Simply isnt the case

  • icon

    Rents in the Norwich area are holding up and a strong demand, not surprised to see London dropping though.

  • icon
    • 05 October 2020 09:47 AM

    Investment risk.

    Do these newbie LL seriously not appreciate the risk of the dysfunctional repossession process!??

    I suppose they must consider themselves perfect at tenant choice or if not to be able to achieve RGI or guarantors on all of them.

    I admire their confidence........something I don't have after being in the game for only 12 years.
    What do I know!?

    I'm trying to get out and they are trying to get in.
    Wonder who is correct!?


    I think you are correct in wanting to get out. I will be as I also think it is a loser these days and will only get worse. There is no support for landlords and massive support for those not wanting to pay.
    Good luck to the new generation of landlords as they will need loads of it.



    I'm not sure that I would venture into the PRs now with a high ltv mortgage, but it was certainly my best ever business decision in the mid 90's.

    I won't get rid of any properties but also won't be buying more and am keeping a healthy five figure sum in easy access accounts just in case, even although NS&I have just slashed their interest rates from 1.16% down to 0.01%.

    That is the nub of the problem. Cash earns nothing now and I think the stock market, which I am not that familiar with, is riskier than property, even with all the disadvantages thrown our way by recent legislation and tax raids.

    If I were still in my thirties ir forties I think I would still go for properly investment after optimising all available tax relief through pensions invested in a variety of stocks across various countries and business sectors.

    The multiplying effect of gearing, transforming a rental 6% yield into almost 24% with a 75% ltv mortgage is still too good to pass up for investors with time and liquidity to smooth out any bumps in the road ahead.

  • Fed Up Landlord

    Been a LL for 18 years. Am selling now as they come empty. Eventually 12 properties potentially no longer available. Section 24, SDLT, EPC regs up to a minimum of "C" by 2025 at LLs expense, Tenant Fee Ban etc etc.

    Tenants can ask the lefty militant brigade of Shelter, Generation Rent and Acorn for somewhere to live. I'm done.

    • 05 October 2020 15:28 PM

    A very sad day when a successful long standing LL considers it is time to leave the AST sector especially single household AST.

    When such LL are announcing they are leaving shouldn't that cause some concern to Govt!?

    Or will they be rubbing their hands with glee as they get rid of another 'snivelling parasite'

    Pity the poor old now homeless tenants who wonders where all the LL have gone and why have they gone?

    Tenants don't understand and yet they are the ultimate victims.

    I don't think Govt understands that many LL will not totally leave the PRS.
    They just WON'T let on single AST.

    Short-term letting

    All viable alternatives none of which are subject to the ridiculous dysfunctional repossession processes.

  • icon
    • 05 October 2020 16:01 PM


    The problem with gearing is it needs to be paid for.

    This requires a tenant paying rent.

    This isn't always achievable and few LL are able to protect themselves from feckless rent defaulting tenants.

    If such feckless rent defaulting tenants could be removed very quickly then the leveraged business model is very effective.
    Unfortunately that is not currently the case.
    So being a leveraged LL is now a very risky business.

    If starting out again I would reduce leverage to as much as possible.

    Tenants cannot be relied on to pay rent and now can't be got rid of easily.
    A very bad business model!



    I meant it was necessary to keep one float of £10k plus available to cover shortfalls and unexpected costs, not £10k per tenant.

    With a portfolio of 16 properties, solvent middle class guarantors and £250k gross rents to cover around £20k interest then I am quite comfortable with the level of risk currently. However it was different when I started out, with the rent barely covering the interest payments and capital growth being the principal driving force for investing in properties then!

    PS. Gosh! Have I become one of the fat cats the Tories are supporting?

  • icon
    • 05 October 2020 18:39 PM

    Very few LL are in such a position

    Never have I been able to source a middle class tenant.

    I am simply not prepared to ringrence £10000 per tenant which I don't have anyway.

    Can't get RGI or guarantors.
    Don't have £10000 per tenancy.
    So am stuffed.

    If I had £10000 and used it what would I do for the next tenant when I have no more money?
    There are very few LL in your position.
    You are fortunate in what you have achieved.
    You are a rarity!!

    This is why I'm getting out of the game despite doing very well.
    That only lasts as long as I have rent paying occupants which could finish tomorrow.
    Then I'm bankrupted.
    I can live perfectly well not being a LL.
    I really don't need the net income it brings.
    As you can imagine I have no current expensive tastes!!

  • icon


    I don't ring fence £10k per tenant - just a single float of £10k plus.

    I also take comfort from the fact that I have at least one solvent guarantor per property who wants to keep a good credit rating and so far, a simple email has been enough to resolve the few late or missed rent payments over the years.

    I suppose I have been lucky (helped with a little common sense) that my properties are all pretty nice and with multiple people wanting them, so I tend to get the pick of tenants and have only been let down badly once by someone who went seriously off the rails, ending up jobless and on Housing Benefit.

    I know I may not be typical but I suspect that there will be many landlords of 20 plus years who are in the same position.

    • 05 October 2020 22:30 PM

    Yep those LL who have been doing it for over 20 years are pretty much sorted as far as resilience is concerned.

    Now I may be going over the top somewhat but I consider £10000 is vastly insufficient.

    There must be many LL who have multiple rent defaulting tenants.
    That could be ME!!

    I admit I'm a LL coward.

    I'm just not prepared to risk it anymore.

    The way Govt is increasingly making it difficult to repossess is something I am no longer prepared to risk.

    Yep I accept defeat by the Govt.
    They will eventually eradicate me from AST lettings.


    I've also been quite lucky, I've had problem tenants in the past but always been able to get rid quite easily, these days I don't take any risks where new tenants are concerned, I'll wait for the right ones to come along, and they always do.



    I've found that the harder I work the luckier I get!

    I suspect the same is true for you.

    Perhaps lack of luck and lack of application/determination/perspiration/inspiration and aspiration go together?

    I was once told "Don't waste energy on envying someone. Spend energy on emulating them instead."

    The politics of envy portrayed by landlord bashers will only backfire on the tenants they claim to support.

  • icon

    There will be far less good tenants in future corrupted by regulators telling them to despise LL's all they can, even yesterday I see a big rant telling Tenants to complain about everything, then in Parliament as we speak making more anti-LL rules.
    Rishi, putting up taxes expected, disastrous mismanagement of Furlough nothing much said about it because everyone had their snout in the trough. All he had to say back then for the people & Companies in need was there is money available but its a loan and will need paying back sometime not a grant free for all, 2 Trillion £'s in debt, half the people wouldn't have applied & definitely didn't need it some couldn't believe their luck they got so much, one Trillion £'s wasted but not to worry hit the tax payer again keeping you all, you are getting close to the bottom of the well.

  • icon

    Regarding people coming up with the idea that no one knows who owns the property, they must be running out of things to sabotage us, this again is rubbish as the man previously said just £3 Land registry search in a flash its done or as many Websites now require proof of ownership in order to advertise the property to let on the main portals. I think they are late to the party.


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