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News: Big regional rent differences continue as ‘Covid-effect’ rumbles on

Mon, 22 Nov 21

The latest market snapshot from lettings agency Hamptons suggests that rents have risen, nationally, 7.9 per cent over the last 12 months.

It may be slightly less high than in recent months but that figure nonetheless remains the fourth largest annual increase since Hamptons’ lettings index began in 2013.  

Outside London, rents continued to rise in double digits for the fifth month running, with average rents up 11.0 per cent on the same time last year.  

And Hamptons suggests that with 47 per cent fewer homes available to rent than at the same time in 2020, rental growth is set to remain buoyant into 2022.

Over the past year now rents have risen fastest in the South West than anywhere else in the country, up 15.3 per cent annually.  

October marked the third straight month that rents grew faster in the South West than in any other region. It was also the fifth month in a row that all three southern regions outside of London - the South East, South West and East of England - recorded double-digit growth.

Meanwhile annual rental growth in Inner London is poised to turn positive following 21 consecutive months of falls.  

Rents in Inner London fell 0.1 per cent in October - the smallest drop recorded since the onset of the pandemic - but despite this, rents here remain 20 per cent below where they stood on the eve of the pandemic. This is up from a trough of 30 per cent earlier in the year.  

In cash terms, this 20 per cent fall means the average property in Inner London costs £530 pcm less than it did during the peak.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, says:  “There are few signs that rental growth is slowing as the year ends meaning that if growth continues at current rates, we are likely to see rents outside the capital hit £1,000 per month by the middle of next year.  

“At the same time, rents in London are starting to recover their pre-pandemic momentum which will serve to bump up the headline rental growth figure nationally.” 

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