Rent increases are racing away, latest official data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveals.
Private rental prices paid by tenants in the UK rose by 6.1% during the 12 months to October 2023, up from 5.7% during the 12 months to September 2023, its data shows.
Annual private rental prices increased by 6% in England, 6.9% in Wales, and 6.2% in Scotland over the past year. London saw the highest rent increases within England at 6.8%, the highest rate ever recorded by the ONS.
Its data (see graph, bottom) also shows that while rents levelled off during Covid, rents across the UK have begun rising steeply since late 2021 as low supply and high demand have pushed up prices.
Although ONS doesn’t comment on why rents are rising as a matter of policy, it notes the most recent RICS housing report, which pinned rising rents on a decrease in landlord property listings.
The Bank of England has been more forthright on this, recently reporting that more smaller BTL landlords than normal are selling up as higher taxes, more regulation and a hostile environment persuade them to invest elsewhere.
Estate agency Foxtons’ built-to-rent boss Sarah Tonkinson (pictured) says: “For the first time since 2019, the London lettings market is seeing regular seasonal trends, including a Q4 decrease in demand.
“However, demand still outpaces supply, and properties are still being let quickly, so long as they’re listed at the right price.”
ONS says its quarterly rental report is more realistic than those published by others such as Rightmove and Zoopla because it includes rents paid by existing tenants as well as those by people starting new tenancies.