Rent for larger properties continues to rise at a faster rate during the last quarter of 2020, as tenants seek more space as a result of work-from-home restrictions caused by the pandemic.
The average monthly cost of renting a detached property in the UK between October and December 2020 was £1,055, according to the Deposit Protection Service’s quarterly Rent Index. This is £29, or 2.83%, more than in the third quarter of 2020 and £57, or 5.71%, more than in the final quarter of 2019.
However, although flat rents rose faster in the final quarter of 2020 than earlier in the year, they grew at a much slower rate than larger properties, hitting £803 in the period. This is £8, or 1.01%, more than in the third quarter and £9, or 1.13%, more than the final quarter of 2019.
Deposit Protection Service managing director Matt Trevett says: “Lockdown has meant many more people are spending longer at home, including far more extensive remote working, and as a consequence more tenants are seeking larger properties with more space.”
Trevett adds: “While there seems to be a particular focus on detached and semi-detached properties, the rental market as a whole remained remarkably resilient throughout much of 2020, despite broader economic uncertainties and restrictions that affected home viewings and public movement during the first national lockdown.”
The average rent for semi-detached homes increased to £847 in the fourth quarter of last year. This is £19, or 2.29%, more than in the third quarter and £33, or 4.05%, more than the final quarter of 2019.
Overall, average UK rent increased to £792 during the final quarter of last year. This is £12, or 1.54%, more than in the third quarter of 2020 and £19, or 2.46% more than the final quarter of 2019.
However, the survey noted regional rental disparities.
The biggest drop in rents was in Central London, where average rent was £1,377 in the final quarter of last year. This is £54, or 3.77%, less than during the same period in 2019 and £14 or, 1.01%, less than the third quarter in 2020.
Overall, London remains proportionately the most expensive area to rent property, with costs standing at 39% of average UK income.
Two other regions experienced a decline in average rents between the third and final quarter of last year — the North East, where it fell by £9, or 1.70%, to £520, and Yorkshire, where it fell by £12, or 2.15%, to £546.
The West Midlands experienced the largest percentage rent rise, up £24 or 3.85% during the final quarter of 2020, reaching £647.
The North East remains the cheapest region in the country, across the final quarter of 2020, with rents at 23% of average income.
The Deposit Protection Service’s quarterly Rent Index collects information on 1.8 million current tenancies and holds 13 years of data