ONS: Rents rise by a record 6.1% in October

Posted on Thursday, November 16, 2023

UK private rents lifted by a record 6.1% in the year to October, according to the Office for National Statistics. 

This is the largest annual percentage change since the government data body began collecting this information in this form in January 2016. 

The figures are up from a 5.7% rise in the 12 months to September, as more tenants search for fewer properties to let. 

Across the nation, rents rose by 6% in England, 6.9% in Wales, and 6.2% in Scotland in the 12 months to October. 

London saw the highest annual percentage change in rental prices, rising to a record 6.8%, while the North East saw the lowest at 4.7%. 

The body says annual percentage change in the capital was the highest annual rate since the London data series began in January 2006. 

The data department points to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ latest Residential Market Survey, which says that tenant demand increased in the three months to October, while landlord instructions continued to fall. 

RICS expects rents to increase by around 4% across the UK over the next 12 months, amid “rising demand and dwindling supply”. 

The data comes after the ongoing Renters Reform Bill was included in the King’s Speech last week. Although, the government confirmed it would not proceed with the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions until court proceedings on landlord possessions had been speeded up. 

Last week, no fault evictions hit a seven-year high up 38% to 8,339 in the third quarter of the year, according to data from the Ministry of Justice. 

Jeremy Leaf, North London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, says: “Not surprisingly rental figures continue their upwards march.  

“Activity at the time these figures were recorded was probably the peak time for the market bearing in mind student activity is fairly frenzied in October. 

“However, we have found both supply and demand have calmed since then with tenants unwilling or unable to pay such high rents.  

“On the other hand, high rents and better yields have encouraged some more landlords to put properties on the market, resulting in a balance we haven’t seen for some time.” 

Anna Clare Harper, chief executive of sustainable investment adviser GreenResi, adds: “Renters are suffering as a result of the pace of rent rises, and the only way to reverse the trend of rising rents is for policy to encourage more and better supply, and for professional investors to step into the void that is emerging as traditional private landlords exit in droves.”

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