Buy-to-let  

Rents for larger properties outpace flats

Rents for larger properties outpace flats
 Credit: Ian Forsyth/Bloomberg

The average monthly rent for larger properties continued to increase at a faster rate than flats during the last quarter of 2020, according to data from The Deposit Protection Service.

The service’s quarterly rent index showed the average monthly cost of renting a detached property in Q4 last year was £1,055, 2.83 per cent (£29) more than in Q3 2020 and 5.71 per cent (£57) more than Q4 2019.

The average rent for semi-detached homes also increased to £847 in Q4 2020, 2.29 per cent (£19) more than in the previous quarter and 4.05 per cent (£33) more than in Q4 2019.

But the cost of renting a flat grew at a slower rate than larger properties to £803, 1.01 per cent (£8) more than in Q3 2020 and 1.13 per cent (£9) more than in Q4 2019.

Matt Trevett, managing director at The DPS, said: “Lockdown has meant many more people are spending longer at home, including far more extensive remote working, and as a consequence more tenants are seeking larger properties with more space.

“While there seems to be a particular focus on detached and semi-detached properties, the rental market as a whole remained remarkably resilient throughout much of 2020, despite broader economic uncertainties and restrictions that affected home viewings and public movement during the first national lockdown.”

The rent data reflects a similar trend to that seen in the purchase market. Analysis from Halifax last year of house prices between March and September found the cost of the largest types of properties had risen at more than twice the rate of the smallest homes.

Average rent by property type

Property type

Q4 2020

Q3 2020

2020 Q4 vs 2020 Q3 % change

Q4 2019

2020 Q4 vs 2019 Q4% change

Detached

£1,055

£1,026

2.83%

£998

5.71%

Semi-detached

£847

£828

2.29%

£814

4.05%

Flats

£803

£795

1.10%

£794

1.13%

All

£792

£780

1.54%

£773

2.46%

Meanwhile the DPS index showed rents in London continued to drop to £1,317 during Q4, 0.38 per cent (£5) less than in Q3 2020 and 2.08 per cent (£28) less than Q4 2019.

The service noted the biggest drop in central London, where the average rent stood at £1,377 in Q4, 1.01 per cent (£14) less than the quarter before and 3.77 per cent (£54) less than Q4 2019.

However, it added the capital remained proportionately the most expensive area to rent at 39 per cent of the average UK income.

Analysis last year by Rightmove of commuter lines in London found zone 6 saw the biggest increase in the number of buyers, and zone 1 (central London) the smallest, a reversal of the trend seen a year ago amid an interest in larger properties.

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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