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HRI data reveals UK Rental Market hotspots

Posted on 2016-01-12

  • Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Newcastle show highest rental increases in 2015
  • The average rent in the UK at the end of 2015 was £739 outside of London compared to £704 in 2014; in London, rents averaged £1,523 against £1,410 last year
  • HomeLet Rental Index shows rents on new UK tenancies rose by 4.9%, on average, outside of the capital last year, and by 8.0% in London

New research from the HomeLet Rental Index reveals that Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh and Newcastle recorded the largest increase in rents last year amongst the country’s largest towns and cities. HomeLet’s annual review of the rental market shows that rents on new tenancies signed last year in Brighton and Bristol were, on average, 18 per cent higher than on new tenancies agreed in 2014, while rents were up by 16 per cent in both Edinburgh and Newcastle. London and Liverpool also fall into the top rental hotspots for 2015, both with increases of 11 per cent.

Meanwhile, the monthly HomeLet Rental Index shows that, on average, rents across the UK, excluding Greater London, were 4.9% higher on new tenancies signed during the final three months of the year than in same period of 2014. The average monthly rent outside of the capital now stands at £739. The monthly index shows the London market up by 8.0 per cent on the final three months of 2014 to an average of £1,523.

HomeLet has ranked the major towns and cities in the UK to produce a league table highlighting growth in average rents for new tenancies over 2015 as a whole:

Top 15 UK towns and cities with highest rental market growth in 2015*
City/TownAverage rents in 2015 and 2014 on new tenancies
 20152014% rise
Brighton £1,078 £913 18%
Bristol £904 £767 18%
Edinburgh £819 £707 16%
Newcastle £588 £506 16%
Greater London £1,596 £1,435 11%
Liverpool £673 £607 11%
Glasgow £636 £586 £9%
Coventry £754 £699 8%
Leeds £691 £648 7%
Manchester £727 £691 5%
Nottingham £586 £556 5%
Belfast £606 £579 5%
Sheffield £604 £581 4%
Birmingham £675 £647 4%
Leicester £638 £611 4%

*Based on new tenancies signed in 2015 compared to new tenancies signed in 2014. Analysis completed on the UK’s most populated towns and cities.  

Commenting on the report, Martin Totty, Barbon* Insurance Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “2015 was a year in which rents on new tenancies were up on 2014 in almost every area of the country. While we saw a moderation in the rate at which rents increased during the final months of the year, and even some falls in a number of regions, the sector overall has continued to see strong demand.”

“Beneath the headline figures, HomeLet’s data points to some significant variations in rental market performance in 2014, both from region to region and from town to town. In locations such as Brighton and Bristol, demand for rental property appears to have been particularly strong and rents on new tenancies jumped very markedly. In other areas, we saw slower growth.”

The latest figures from the HomeLet Rental Index reveal that rents on new tenancies agreed over the three months to December 2015 fell in eight out of 12 regions of the UK when measured against the three months to the end of November. The West Midlands and Wales (up 1.0 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively) saw the biggest increases, while Scotland and Northern Ireland (down 2.8 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively) saw the biggest falls.

On an annual basis, the monthly HomeLet Rental Index shows that rents rose in 10 out of 12 areas, led by London, where rents on new tenancies signed during the final three months of the year were 8.0 per cent higher than in the same period of 2014, and the South-East (7.0 per cent higher). The North-West of England, where rents were down 5.1 per cent compared to 2014, and Northern Ireland (down 0.6 per cent) were the exceptions.

Commenting further, Martin Totty said: “Rents in London have continued to rise more quickly than in most areas of the country, but not at quite the pace of 2014; meanwhile, average rents outside of the capital rose more quickly last year than in 2014. As a result, we saw a narrowing of the rent inflation gap between London and the regions last year - is this a trend we will see continuing in 2016 from tenants seeking value for money in the private rented sector?”

Rental figures from the December 2015 HomeLet Rental Index

RegionAverage rent 3 months to December 2015Average rent 3 months to November 2015Monthly VariationAverage rent 3 months to December 2014Annual variation
Scotland £630 £648 -2.8% £611 3.2%
North East £531 £530 0.1% £521 1.9%
Yorks & Humbs £623 £626 -0.5% £604 3.1%
East Midlands £638 £635 0.4% £600 6.4%
East Anglia £799 £805 -0.7% £756 5.7%
Greater London* £1,523 £1,544 -1.4% £1,410 8.0%
South East £936 £943 -0.8% £875 7.0%
South West £840 £849 -1.1% £796 5.5%
Wales £599 £595 0.8% £586 2.3%
West Midlands £666 £659 1.0% £654 1.7%
North West £622 £631 -1.5% £655 -5.1%
Northern Ireland £570 £580 -1.8% £574 -0.6%
UK ex Greater London £739 £743 -0.6% £704 4.9%
source HomeLet
Based on new tenancies in October, November and December 2015 Based on new tenancies in September, October and November 2015 Comparison of average rent in 3 months to end December 2015 and 3 months to end November 2015 Based on new tenancies in October, November and December 2014 Comparison of average rent in 3 months to end December 2015 & 3 months to end December 2014


Rent movements: Greater London vs rest if the UK December 2015

HRI PR Jan 16


HomeLet Rental Index Regional Variance Figures for the three months to end–December 2015 


About the HomeLet Rental Index data

HomeLet Rental Index provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date data on new tenancies in the UK. As part of the referencing process for around 350,000 prospective tenants each year, HomeLet processes information including the rental amounts agreed, the number of tenants moving into the property, together with the employment status, income and age of all tenants. The trends reported within the HomeLet Rental Index are brand new tenancies which were arranged in the most recent period, giving the most relevant insight into changes in the Private Rented Sector. This is in contrast to many other rental indices which are based on all properties which are being managed, which may have had rental amounts agreed as long as two years ago.


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