Rental activity in UK continues upward curve

Statistics released by Sequence, the national estate agency network, revealed that slight falls in the last month of 1 per cent, both nationally and in London, did not temper overall rises in rent costs across last year.

The biggest rise in rents recorded in the five-page national rental report (which did not record specific activity in Scotland and Wales) occurred in the east and central England, where rents climbed by 8 per cent.

London, as expected, also saw a 6 per cent upswing in rent costs, though this fell short of rent rises that occurred elsewhere in the country. The South also saw an increase of 6 per cent while rents rose by 7 per cent in the North.

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In another sign that more Londoners may be getting on the housing ladder, new tenancies in the capital fell by 2 per cent and were outstripped by the rest of the UK, where new tenancies shot up by 13 per cent. New tenant applications also remained flat in London, whereas they rose by 13 per cent in the rest of the UK.

Stephen Nation, head of lettings at Sequence, said: “The UK is outperforming London, with the average yearly growth exceeding that of the Capital across nearly all areas. This draws the conclusion that it is the regions, not the Capital, propelling the continued buoyancy of the rental market.

“The monthly changes are more subdued, as you would expect at this time of year but when compared to the same period last year, it is clear that far from being stifled by a growing sales market, the national rental market operates independently, drawing on a different pool of supply and demand.”