A significant revival in the city centre private rental market ahead of Covid restrictions being lifted next week has pushed up rents to a record £1,000 a month per property, says Rightmove.

The portal says this is the first time rents have reached this figures outside London on average after a 2.6% quarterly jump. Overall rents are 6.2% higher than this time last year.

These rises are being generated by a surge of tenants returning to their former urban haunts after spending the pandemic living with parents or renting in more rural areas, says Rightmove, with eight out of ten of the largest cities seeing rent increases.

For example, in Nottingham city centre asking rents are up year-on-year by 6.8% and in Liverpool (pictured) by 3.8%.

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The rises are also being driven by a shortage of rental property in the market; year-on-year there are 36% fewer properties on the market, and properties that are advertised are being snapped up.

10% more tenants

Rightmove’s Quarterly Rental Trends Tracker, based on over 470,000 properties, reveals that the number of prospective tenants contacting agents about properties for rent is currently 10% higher than in July 2020.

London is the only region with rents lower than this time last year (-6.8%) though rents in the capital have increased this quarter for the first time since before the pandemic

bannister rightmove

Rightmove’s Director of Property Data Tim Bannister said: “At the start of this year the impact that tenants leaving cities had on rents was clear to see, but with restrictions continuing to lift we’re seeing signs of the city centre comeback.

“As businesses settle into a more structured balance between home and office time, we expect this to continue for the rest of the year.”

Read more about how Covid has impacted the rental markets.

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