Rents are holding up well around the UK despite the market uncertainty created by Coronavirus, with some regions showing hefty year-on-year increases.
Average rents for new tenancies rose by 2.7% last month to £959 compared with May 2019, according to the latest Homelet Rental Index figures.
But rents in the capital dropped by 0.2% in May compared to the previous year; the average London rent now stands at £1,598 a month – 67% higher than the rest of the UK.
Homelet reveals that rents rose in the last year in 10 out of 12 of the regions, with the North West seeing the largest annual change, up 7.5% to £758, followed by Wales, up 5.7% to £613.
Chief executive Martin Totty says the mixed findings are not easy to explain, which makes it hard to predict rental price movement in the next few months.
“Rents may go up or they may go down and defaults may follow the same pattern. Nobody can be sure other than there is one certainty…and that is there is now more uncertainty.”
“It’s surprising that in many regions of the country, especially away from London and the South East, rents have generally held up well month on month and are commonly ahead over the year.
“Not so surprising is evidence of a softening in rents in the short term in the higher average rent regions and, for the first time in almost three years, a negative movement in London compared with a year ago.”