What are the regional rents trends showing from the last quarter?

publication date: May 18, 2015
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

Regional rental update with data from LSL and Belvoir...


Much the same as national property prices versus regional ones, rental trends vary for each area, even to postcode level, but not as much as property prices. For example, you might have 10 different prices for a two bed flats vs four for rent. In the regional indices chart, we include average monthly rents from LSL, Homelet and Belvoir for Mar 15 vs Mar 14, compared to the Countrywide average monthly rent for Q1 15 vs Q1 14. 

It’s unlikely that any indices can be directly compared, but what we can do is check whether they are all giving the same trending information - ie going up or down, so we can get a feel for what’s actually happening in the market from a variety of sources.

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The breakdown for Scotland and Wales regions show:-

  • For Wales, the Homelet and Belvoir indices show insignificant year on year falls of -0.9% and -0.6% respectively, with both Countrywide and LSL indicating a slight rise of 1.4%. Overall, rents in Wales appear to be relatively stable.

  • In Scotland, the Countrywide indices is showing a small increase of 2.9%, year on year, with Homelet showing rental increases of 7.5%. According to the Scottish Buy to Let Index from LSL, “The average monthly rent in Scotland has risen just 1.1% in the year to February 2015 – representing the smallest annual increase experienced since April 2013. The average residential rent across Scotland has increased only £6 in the last year, reaching £537 per month in February. This represents a significant downtrend in annual rent rises, which peaked at 4.3% a year previously in February 2014 (equal to a £21 annual boost in cash terms).”

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Rental changes in English regions
The breakdown for the English regions shows:-

  • In the North East, rental averages tend to be variable due to property rents ranging from around £300 to in excess of £2,000 a month. The Countrywide and LSL indices register small falls of -1.8% and -1% respectively. However the Homelet figures indicate a rise of 3.8%, year on year. Looking at Belvoir’s individual offices, rents appear to be static to rising.
  • The data from Countrywide, LSL and Belvoir for the North West, show small year on year increases of 1.5% to 2.2%, with Homelet indicating a larger 5.7% increase. In the main, this suggests rents are pretty static unless renting out new property. 
  • In the Yorkshire & The Humber region, the figures from Belvoir show an insignificant increase of 0.8%, year on year, with LSL, Countrywide and Homelet registering increases of 2.1%, 4.8% and 7% respectively, suggesting a varied picture for rent changes.
  • For rents in the East Midlands, the indices show an insignificant increase of 0.5% from Belvoir, with LSL and Countrywide registering small year on year increases of 2.2% and 3.2% respectively. Homelet’s figures show a higher increase of 6%. Overall the stats suggest the East Midlands has seen some increases this year, but only in line with long term inflation.
  • In the West Midlands, Countrywide and LSL indicate falls of -2.3% and -0.4%, year on year, with Belvoir indicating a rise of 5.3% and Homelet a larger rise of 7.2%. Rents normally have a +/-4% difference between the indices and although stretched, it looks like these are within the ‘normal’ range and reflect different postcode/property type performance.
  • Average rents in the South West region from LSL indicate a small fall in rents of -1.4%, however, Belvoir and Countrywide recorded year on year increases of 3% and 3.7% respectively. Homelet on the other hand, show a much larger increase of 13.8%, which suggests this rise is out of sync compared to other indices.
  • The Belvoir data for East Anglia indicates virtually no change to rental levels, year on year, at -0.1%. However, the indices of Homelet, Countrywide and LSL show increasing rents of 5.9%, 8.6% and 13.2% respectively, suggesting rent rises in the area are quite strong.
  • In the South East region, rents vary from a small rise of 2.1% via LSL, with Belvoir indicating year on year rises of 4.3%. Countrywide and Homelet register similar annual rises of 5% and 5.4% giving agreement on rental changes in the region.
  • For Greater London, all the indices show year on year increases in rents, ranging from 4.6% recorded by Belvoir, 5% from LSL, and larger increases of 7.3% and 8.9% via Countrywide and Homelet.

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