What's happening to regional rental trends this month?

publication date: Oct 5, 2015
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books

What's happening to regional rental trends this month?


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.

It’s unlikely that any indices can be directly compared as they all cover different postcodes within regions. What we can do though is see how the trends compare, ie going up or down, so we can get a feel for what’s actually happening in the market from a variety of measures.

The North East is the cheapest place to rent with rents ranging from £500 per month to £650, while no surprise that London is the most expensive, ranging from £1,200 to £1,500 ie two to three times higher, depending on which index is used.

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The breakdown for Scotland and Wales regions show:-

  • In Wales, the LSL index show falls of -3.2%, whilst Countrywide and Homelet show small rises of 2% and 2.3%, and the Belvoir indices showing a larger increase of 6.8%, year on year, which is mainly due to very strong demand and a shortage of properties in the Cardiff area.

  • For Scotland, the LSL index is showing a slight year on year increase of 1.7%, year on year, with Countrywide indicating an increase of 3.7% and Homelet showing a much larger rental increase of 9.1%, but the latter index tends to show much larger gains/losses each month than the other indices as they compare rents each month rather than over time.

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

  • Rental averages in the North East have a tendency to be irregular due to property rents ranging from around £300 to in excess of £3,000 a month. LSL indicates an insignificant increase in rental averages of 0.4%, year on year, and Countrywide also indicate a slight increase of 1.3%, with the LSL registering more uplift in rents of 7.6%. Information directly from the Belvoir offices shows rents rising strongly in Newcastle upon Tyne, coupled with a shortage of properties. Sunderland report fairly stable rents.

  • In the North West, the data from Homelet indicates a fall in average rents of -3%, with LSL showing no change to rents, year on year. Countrywide and Belvoir show year on year increases of 2.5% and 3.9% respectively.

  • For Yorkshire & The Humber region, the LSL figures indicate an insignificant rental increase of 0.7%, whilst Countrywide, Homelet and Belvoir show larger increases of between 4.3% and 8.8%, year on year. The larger percentage rental increase from Belvoir is mainly attributable to a number of offices recording a rise in rents, including Doncaster and Thirsk.

  • Average rents in the East Midlands from the Countrywide, LSL, Homelet and Belvoir indices, all indicate year on year rental increases of 5.6%, 5.9%, 6.6% and 7.8% respectively. However, it is important to bear in mind rents in this region fell by 20% from 2008 to 2009, so although they have increased year on year, over time they are still lower for some tenants than they were back in 2008.

  • In the West Midlands, Homelet and LSL show a similar increase in rents of 4.4% and 4.6%, with Countrywide and Belvoir indicating higher year on year increases of 6.8% and 8%.

  • Rental averages in the South West region from Belvoir show small year on year falls of -2.3%, mainly due to a fall in rents in Christchurch and Weston-super-Mare. However, data from LSL, Countrywide and Homelet recorded increases in year on year rents of 4.5%, 7% and 10.3% respectively.

  • The data for East Anglia indicates very little change to rental levels via Homelet, Belvoir and Countrywide, year on year, at 0.4%, 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. However, the LSL index shows a significant increase in rents of 11.5%, pointing to a rapid take-off in the East of England, according to LSL, with rents and purchase prices having been especially strong here for some time.

  • In the South East, whilst the LSL figures show an insignificant increase of 0.6%, Countrywide, Belvoir and Homelet are showing larger year on year increases of 4.5%, 6.5% and 7% respectively.

  • The rental indices show a large variation in the Greater London data, with Belvoir showing an insignificant year on year increase of 0.3%, with Countrywide showing a larger increase of 5.1%, whilst Homelet and LSL indicate an uplift of 8.2% and 10.2% respectively. This is likely to be because Belvoir doesn’t have a huge presence in London, while the other indices will monitor different postcodes, giving differing results.

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