Living in a rented home in Greater London is now a substantial 85% more expensive than anywhere else in the UK - again the largest difference ever recorded. New data from this month’s HomeLet Rental Index also shows rents in the Capital increased by 8.4% over the past year and now stand at £1,260 per month – the most expensive they’ve ever been.
Around the rest of the country, the average cost of renting a home now stands at £789 per month, which is 2% higher than the same time last year. However, the UK figure appears to have been driven up by rental costs in Greater London as the majority of regions saw either a decrease or minimal increase in average rents. Regions that saw the largest drop are the North East and South West where rental costs lowered over the same period by 2.6% and 2.4% respectively.
Ian Fraser, Managing Director of HomeLet, said: “It’s amazing to see average rents in London continuing to rise at such rapid rates and reaching new highs. Costs do generally increase and peak over the summer months, which appears to be happening this year. If 2012 follows this trend, then in September, renting a home in the Capital will be more than double than anywhere else in the UK.
“According to the latest English Housing Survey (published 5 July 2012), a quarter of all residential housing in the Capital is home to tenants in the Private Rented Sector. Combining this with increasing rents, Greater London’s lettings industry appears to be flourishing and benefitting from events, such as the Olympics, that appear to have been instrumental in attracting new tenants to the area.
“However, increasing rental costs means an increasing struggle to pay household bills. With an average of two tenants now living in each property in the Capital– more than in any other UK region - it will be very interesting to see if rising average rents cause an increase in defaults as we move into our peak referencing period.”